odix provides innovative deep file inspection and content disarming to protect against sophisticated cyberattacks
Please introduce yourself and your startup odix to our readers!
I am Dr. Oren Eytan, Co-Founder and CEO of odix. In my career, I spent over 25 years with the Israeli defense forces and was the head of the Cybersecurity Unit of the IDF responsible for protecting all the critical infrastructure of the IDF. When I retired from the military, I went to the civilian sector working for organizations such as Motorola, which eventually lead to my co-founding of odix. odix is a cybersecurity company that provides innovative deep file inspection and content disarming and reconstruction-based solutions for enterprise and SMB customers to protect against sophisticated cyberattacks. We are located in Israel, with offices in the US and Europe.
How did you get the idea for odix?
After many years working in the cybersecurity domain and facing almost every threat that you can imagine in the industry, I realized one thing: When hackers are trying to penetrate your network, they often require an insider to take their malware into the network. I became increasingly aware that files were becoming one of the prime vectors of data breaches and cyber-attacks. odix was founded on the idea that, oftentimes, hackers hide malicious code within files. We aim to counter this threat by creating products that go deep within the files, purge the malicious elements, and return a viable file.
Why did you decide to start with odix?
From my personal experience and research, I realized that file-based attacks were here to stay. As we have all seen, file transfers drive everyday work, let it be via office files, PDFs, images, videos, and so on. This inspired my team to start developing effective solutions against this attack vector. Fortunately, we were able to do it and to provide great solutions that have already proven their value in the field, protecting many, many organizations against cyberattacks.
What is the vision behind odix?
My vision is that odix will be the industry standard for file sanitation, used by experts and professionals across industries to provide deep inspection into the files, and to provide users and organizations with clean files nearly instantaneously. We hope the odix Green V (for verified malware-free files) will be a global sign for files, ready to go, ready to use, fully functional, but malware-free. This is my vision, and we are well on our way toward implementing this vision.
How difficult was the start and which challenges did you have to overcome?
You know, when you come up with new technology, the theory is that it does great things and should be a game-changer from the ground up. You need to prove yourself in the field, you need to prove the technology to your first customers, your first beta customers, and other customers must then test the product to provide effective feedback. As a result of this active A/B testing, we got a lot of thank you letters from our customers that say, ‘We are appreciative that odix’s solutions protected us against a broad range of file-based attacks with minimal effort and onboarding on our end.’ As a result of the empirical data from cybersecurity labs all over the globe, as well as from customers conducting a lot of pen testing, we have overcome many of the challenges originally encountered and created a user-friendly and accessible product.
Who is your target audience?
Our target audience is formed of businesses and companies across any industry.
In the beginning, we targeted mainly enterprises. In 2019, I approached the European Commission and showed them that over 90% of business transactions and financials are done by small-medium businesses. But, not only that, many SMBs are not aware of cyber threats, they do not have the tools to protect themselves. Over 60% of SMBs went out of business within six months after they suffered a cyberattack. I presented a plan on how to take our already-proven on-prem solutions and make them accessible and affordable for SMBs.
The European Commission really like our approach; we were awarded the grant of 2 million euros to start developing this concept. We initiated the project and branded it as FileWall. It’s like a firewall for files, FileWall.
What is the USP of your startup?
We are aiming at both enterprise businesses and SMBs and to each segment, we address its unique selling point. For example, with the launch of FileWall, our flagship security add-on protecting Microsoft 365 users, our biggest advantages are with the single click deployment, zero maintenance, and fantastic price point we offer (starting with monthly $1/user). This is in addition to our proven technology and stable product, which are fundamental for success.
Can you describe your typical workday?
Usually, I will try to start the day at the gym, but it does not happen every day. I love to exercise. It is good for the body and the brain. Then I start the day at the office.
During the COVID pandemic, I would not say we work harder, but it was intensive. Most of my day included back-to-back meetings with the teams, customers, partners, etc.
I think virtual meetings require more focus compared to face-to-face meetings.
Now, the pandemic situation is better in Israel, so I have more meetings in the office, at least with my teams.
Where do you see yourself and your startup odix in five years?
We see, since the FileWall launch on September 20th, there’s a growing demand for the service. We want to continue the success of our products, especially with a focus on the value of a single click deployment ransomware prevention process for our managed service providers, because I see that service providers will take FileWall and bring its dynamic value to their broader networks of users and customers.
If we keep growing as we are doing right now, odix will become a significant player in the cybersecurity market.
What 3 tips would you give to founders?
I think the first thing is to choose the right team that you like to work with and that will be committed.
The second key is to be very responsive to the market. Sometimes you start with a certain idea, but you realize that the market requirements are different. A founder must feel the market requirements, trends, and what your target customers are looking for.
The third thing is the budget. As a CEO and founder, you are also required to raise money from investors and work according to budget as revenues and cash sometimes have delays.
Photo credit: Tomer Shalom
Thank you Oren Eytan for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.