The Secret Keys of Tech Founder Success
ITZIK ALVAS, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF ENTRO SECURITY
There are many secret keys to success, but one of the best stems from filling a gap in the market no one had thought to fill. Picture working on a task at work, having some technical issue that needs fixing. You open your browser, looking for that app to fix it, only to find it doesn’t exist.
That’s exactly what happened to Itzik Alvas a few years ago, giving him the spark he needed to become a founder of a tech company based in Tel Aviv. In a recent episode of Tech Salescraft, Itzik sat down with James Hounslow to spell out the secret keys to his tech founding success with Entro Security.
Finding Pain Points
Itzik’s career began as a dev-ops engineer in the Israel Defence Force (IDF), before he moved into managing R&D groups versed in cloud compliance and information security in well-established businesses such as Microsoft, before settling into the role of CISO at Maccabi, Israel’s leading healthcare provider.
In his work, Itzik would repeatedly certain pain points which lacked a clear solution on the open market. Adam, the man who ultimately became his business partner, shared the same desire for a solution after experiencing similar pain points, but couldn’t find it on the market.
In essence, secrets are the basis of any good app functioning properly. They might take the shape of API keys, usernames, passwords or encryption keys. One secret ending up in the wrong hands could potentially spell disaster for a business, and the bigger they are, the more secrets there at potential risk.
‘Three years in a row, secrets-targeted attacks are among the top-three attack vectors out there, and the number-one most destructive and costly kind for a tech organisation’
Itzik was aware of the fact that there was a lack of oversight on secret keys among businesses from a security perspective. Missing or poor encryption can make secret keys one of the big attack vectors in a potential cyberattack, but many secret keys can be so well-hidden that businesses are vulnerable and completely unaware of it.
Keeping Secrets Secret
Itzik saw an opportunity to co-found what would become Entro Security, which provides what is described as the first and only holistic secrets security platform.
CISOs, in Itzik’s view, are always needing to monitor what users are doing on a business network, but then the question arises: what about external apps accessing their own databases?
Through Entro, businesses can discover programmatic access keys, keep an inventory and work out how to enrich secrets to reveal what they do, before monitoring them.
That way, CISOs can keep secrets secure and compliant, in a way which previously never existed before.
This thinking-out-the-box approach helps explain Entro Security’s success, but how did Itzik and Adam, know they were onto a winning idea?
Validate, Validate, Validate
Both Itzik and Adam both required a solution which didn’t exist, so the pair cast their net far and wide, speaking to security professionals, asking up to 50 CISOs to validate pain points around secrets. They boiled these pain points down and approached another 50 CISOs, presenting them with the pain points and offered an early idea of a solution.
Over a year and a bit, they were able to validate both pain points and the type of solution that could resolve these pain points, allowing for development to begin, with validation from industry CISOs helping shape the final product. This approach gave Itzik and Adam some crucial time to speak with the types of people who would ultimately end up becoming end-users of their product.
Want to learn what Itzik did next? Check out the full episode of Tech Salescraft here.