by Madhav Mohan

Muthoot Fincorp enhances branch security with a combination of technologies

Jun 29, 2016

Muthoot Fincorp CIO, Nilakantan Krishnan, adopted a combination of technologies like IoT, mobility and cloud to secure its branches and brought down pending issues from 40 percent to 26 percent.

Consider this: In the dead of the night, six armed assailants break into the branch, steal kilograms of gold, and flee with cameras and digital video recorders. Surely it reads like a heist fit for Hollywood, but it is happening at a bank two blocks away from you. The dizzying reach of the heist underscores the growing threat of bank looters, who find weak links in even the most secure banks. This is why gold is like an albatross around the necks of many NBFCs offering gold loans.

Many a time, the attempt happens during the day time, resulting in physical hurt to human beings. The criminal incident also leaves behind a psychological trauma and a threat to the reputation the organization. Thus, securing the branches at many of NBFCs offering gold loans in our country is a high priority task.

That is why Muthoot Fincorp has come up with a game-changing technical idea to enhance security of its branches. The plan was the brain child of Nilakantan Krishnan, CIO, Muthoot Fincorp, Muraleedharan B, former cyber expert, Kerala police and senior manager, MPG Security Group, and Arun G S, senior manager, Muthoot Pappachan Technologies.

“Today, burglars have gone tech-savvy. Not only do they take away valuables, but they also damage cameras and take away digital video recorders as well,” says Krishnan. “Thus, associated with each criminal occurrence, there is a huge financial impact and loss of surveillance system that offers immense assistance in collecting evidence and help in tracking the culprits.”

“Most of our branches are in tier 3 and tier 4 towns, where broadband connectivity is poor. In case a camera or a digital video recorder is down, there is no way we will know,” says Krishnan. Also, with over 3,600 branches, it is not humanly possible to watch every video footage to figure out anomalous occurrences.

“We have a smart embedded system that runs in each branch. It communicates with security sensors and brings focus on security breaches. In addition, the system monitors health of every critical element of the surveillance system and raises clear tickets automatically through multiple communication channels for fail-safe, faster resolution by respective system vendors,” says Krishnan.

The embedded system captures video from the surveillance system, compresses it for efficient transmission over available broadband connectivity, and communicates it to cloud servers for real time viewing, storage and analysis.

Read How Manappuram Finance Optimized Security with the Help of Technology

The salient features of this implementation are redundant video storage, compressed video transmission over dual redundant communication links, and storage in the cloud. Video images, synthesized with health events and alarm events, are passed to the field emergency response teams via mobile apps for timely and effective intervention.

“The system correlates events from multiple sources like motion detection, door movement and video loss, and deliver concerted advice along with video clip evidence for mobile emergency response team to act. The whole process is tuned in such a way that the nearest quick-reaction team reaches the site within 30 minutes of alert generation. And that has gone a long way in securing the organization’s valuable assets,” says Muraleedharan.

“To outsmart the tech savvy intruders, the embedded system is installed in a camouflaged mode in the branch network and the software is capable of running from desktops in fault tolerant mode. The initial roll out is in this mode,” says Arun.

Muthoot Fincorp reaped rich dividends following the implementation of the project. After going live, they get to know immediately when the camera or DVR are not operational. “In short, our pending issues have come down from 40 percent to 26 percent.” explains Muraleedharan.