An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Ori Eisen (founder and CEO) of Trusona, which was honored in our:
- 2023 Best Tech Startups in Scottsdale
- 2022 Best Tech Startups in Scottsdale
- 2021 Best Tech Startups in Arizona
- 2021 Best Tech Startups in Scottsdale
- 2020 Best Tech Startups in Arizona
- 2020 Best Tech Startups in Scottsdale
- 2019 Best Tech Startups in Scottsdale
- 2018 Best Tech Startups in Arizona
- 2018 Best Tech Startups in Scottsdale
Tell us the origin story of Trusona – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
Trusona began in 2015 after I started thinking about what would make the biggest impact on internet security. From all the data available, it seemed that over 80% of all breaches occurred from the use of usernames and passwords. So, finding a path to eliminate passwords became the mission.
We began with the world first insured authentication service, which is the “gold standard” for knowing who is on the other end of the authentication. That lead to the name Trusona, which is a fusion of “true” and “persona”.
Overtime, we learned that users value convenience and simplicity more than anything else, and shaped our solutions to have as little friction as possible, while still keeping the security.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
Like with any new concept, the fight was against “business as usual”, and specifically in our case, companies still wanting to work with passwords , which are free to use after all. In order to make sales, we had to showcase that upgrading to password-less authentication would bring the business more value, and not just an additional expense.
It was clear that users want the simplicity of password-less, and that in general, they hate passwords. What we learned was that password-less login improves the following business metrics and KPIs:
- Makes the account opening easier/faster
- Allows a user to login easier, faster, and 100% of the time (vs. less than 60% success of first time login with username and passwords)
- The costs of handling account lockout/reset go down, as there is no password to forget
- Users love the experience, and the user satisfaction scores go up
- Security is enhanced as you can’t use phishing emails to get the credential as the user does not know the credential
What does the future hold for Trusona?
Trusona is gaining ground in both employee logins to work systems and applications, as well as, consumer login to websites. Now that our pioneering work is adopted into a standard that every browser has (for more details, see the FIDO protocol and passkeys), we are seeing the tides shift to a world without passwords.
While we were told by many that it is hard to boil the ocean, and that passwords will be here forever, it is the tenacity of the Trusonauts (the employees at Trusona) that helped bring this change about – they help bend the universe.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Scottsdale?
Trusona is my fourth startup, and I have done the third here in Scottsdale as well. That was The 41st Parameter, and it gained funding from the top VCs in Silicon Valley. If you have a good idea, a good founding team, and a can-do attitude, you can make it anywhere. Together with other business leaders, we are trying to gain more prominence for our area so we can attract and retain technical talent. See more here: https://www.cybersecuritycanyon.org/
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Where to begin? There is a lot to say. I get asked questions like this all the time, and post the most common questions and answers on my startup advice blog: https://www.orieisen.com/startup/. If I were to give one advice to anyone, it is these six words that boil down the beginning, middle, and end: “Find a need and fill it”.