The Silicon Review
Established in 2015, Avnos is the simple solution to the complexity of network perimeter technologies. The company started off as ARIM Technologies, a cybersecurity services company, offering customized cybersecurity services to Asian customers. With its initial sales office in Singapore, Avnos quickly expanded its sales operations to Indonesia, establishing their 2nd sales office within their first year of operation. In a short 2 years time frame, the company grew its revenue more than ten times, and reinvested its earnings into products R&D, opening their 1st R&D office in Israel. This marks the beginning of a new journey for Avnos, transiting from a services firm to a product startup. Their first product – Avnos EX, was officially launched in February of 2018.
“We officially became the 1st cybersecurity startup globally with a Singaporean and Israeli co-founding team,” says Liad Mizrachi, Co-Founder and Head of Operations in Avnos. “With a strong culturally diverse heritage, we are proud to have differentiated ourselves from other cybersecurity start-ups to have Asia as our primary focus market.”
With automation recently added to its platform, Avnos EX is now one of the most comprehensive applications whitelisting and management platform in the market. Its patent-pending multi-layered protection technologies - applications control, traffic control, and anti-ransomware, are now augmented with automation to help organizations greatly reduce their cyber attack surface. Its cloud-based platform is fast, easy to administer and supports multi-roles and privileges configurations out-of-the-box. With a unique approach to mapping organizations, Avnos provides unparalleled visibility to schematics enabling rapid event investigation and incident response. Today, Avnos is fast becoming one of the most well-liked and admired company in the industry.
In-Conversation with the Co-Founder of Avnos, Liad Mizrachi:
Q. What challenges did you face in your initial years?
Just like any other startup, we faced quite a number of challenges in our initial years. The single biggest challenge was the lack of brand awareness in the market. Initial market penetration was tough when the customer has yet to hear about your brand, and getting early customer references became an even more challenging task.
The other major challenge that we faced was with hiring. Attracting talents to join us at an early stage proved to be an uphill task. And when you do manage to hire good talents, it is a shame when they turn out not to be a fit with the team’s culture — either they are too self-centered or they are unable to work as a team. And these are definitely unwanted factors for a startup.
Q. How successful was your first project rollout?
To be honest, we wouldn’t call it a success because there was so much to learn from an operations perspective. As the rollout was with our version 1 software in a customer’s production environment, there were bugs that needed to be fixed on an on-going basis. We were fortunate that our 1st customer was extremely supportive and accommodating. In that aspect, I would consider the strong relationship developed with our 1st customer during the project rollout as our success.
Q. What kind of responses have you received from your customers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings and grow the company?
In general, the feedback that we have received from our enterprise customers is mostly positive. What really motivates us to continue to challenge the norm was their acknowledgment of Avnos successfully differentiating ourselves in our product offerings.
At Avnos, we constantly seek feedback from our customers; be it good or bad, and we welcome all feedback. Their constant feedback helps us map out our features’ and functions’ roadmap. And more importantly, we strive to always deliver on our commitments – if there are features and functions that were promised, we make sure that commitments are delivered.
Q. Building a culture of sustainability inside an organization is very important to maintaining a reputation in the global market. How true is this with your company?
At Avnos, we strongly believe in building a company culture. We believe that a company’s culture is the strongest tool to keep the team together. And when the team appreciates the company’s vision and share the same excitement in the journey to achieve that vision, you realize that you will be lot more successful in recruiting the right people for the team.
We also believe that the leadership team plays a vital role too. And that is why we take as much time as we can to find the right people as our team leaders. When we make mistakes in appointing the wrong team leaders, we will not hesitate to make changes as soon as possible.
Q. Is it true that striving for both ‘ethics’ and ‘success’ in a business is a tough feat?
Not necessarily! We strongly believe in ethics and integrity when it comes to dealing with customers and partners/resellers, and it isn’t that tough making the right decisions. However, it might be a short-term pain at times to insist on integrity/ethics, but we believe that in the long run, our reputation will earn us much more success.
Q. Is Avnos a ‘leader’ or a ‘follower’? Do you formulate your own core values?
We are definitely a leader in the industry. We constantly challenge the norm and innovate wherever we can within the company. At Avnos, we have built an environment where everyone is encouraged to make decisions and to work towards a common goal.
Crafting the Future Roadmap
Over the years, Avnos has gained tremendous success in the Asian markets. And with the foreseeable future, the company is hoping to scale to greater heights, penetrating more markets on a global scale, and achieving the overall vision - which includes multiple product modules to be researched and developed. In the mid-long term, Avnos is hoping to see the company scale beyond the Asian market.
On a personal basis, Liad Mizrachi hopes to see himself taking on different roles within the organization, allowing him to have a wider exposure, and helping the organization through various functions.
Greet the Chief
Liad Mizrachi, Head of Operations & Co-Founder: Liad is a veteran in the cyber-security space with a wealth of experience in cybersecurity research and development works. He counts more than 20 published advisories on vulnerabilities and a few patents under his portfolio, and was featured in several media publications, including CNET. As Head of Operations, Liad drives Avnos’ product innovation initiatives together with the R&D team.