Ori Eisen On Taking Advantage Of AI To Elevate Digital Security With Passwordless Authentication
Passwords are meant to protect our accounts, but they're not always as secure as we would think. That's where passwordless authentication comes into play. Joining Chad Burmeister is Ori Eisen, Founder and CEO of Trusona. Ori shares how removing passwords from the equation creates a better user experience and eliminates risks such as getting hacked or forgetting your password. He talks about the value in utilizing AI to elevate digital security and explains just how their company serves to help customers and salespeople all the same. Tune in and learn how you can better protect your digital identity.
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Ori Eisen On Taking Advantage Of AI To Elevate Digital Security With Passwordless Authentication
We're joined by Ori Eisen. He's joining us from Trusona.com. We're going to dig into some pretty cool topics. Ori, welcome to the show.
Thank you for having me.
It's amazing to have these conversations. Artificial intelligence is here and it's here to stay. A lot of people aren't aware of where it is and where it's being deployed. I always love having these conversations with folks to dig into where it's being used in, potentially your product, as well as in the customers you serve and what you're seeing in the market. Before we get into that, I like to help our audience connect with you personally by asking what do you to do when you were a kid?
I was a reader, I was an explorer, and I would love to play music. The love of math helped me learn how to code when I was 9 or 10 years old. As you can see, I continued on that path into my adulthood.
I heard music twice and coding in the same sentence. I hadn't heard that up until now.
We should talk about it. I have noticed a lot of people in our industry are very good at math. Math and rhythm go together and also math and music. It's not obvious to parents that there are math-related kids because it sounds like a left-brain thing and, “You should be in sciences.” Arts is music, but I do see a lot of people like when I have Zoom calls and I see guitars behind them. You already can see their mind is wired this way. I do think math and music are connected in very interesting ways.
AI is going to help us bridge the gap between what we couldn’t see before.
It's funny because I have one guitar on that side and one on that side behind the virtual green screen and I was quite good at math.
What guitars, if I may ask?
One's a Gibson and the main thing is they're signed by very famous musicians. I went to a couple of concerts in Las Vegas and it was Rock of Ages. All of these guitarists and drummers and famous people signed it. It's pretty cool.
I don't want to brag, but I have one guitar that is signed. It's a Gibson Les Paul. It is signed by Les Paul and by B.B. King. I don't play that guitar. It's just in the case all the time.
My friend Jim would be very impressed with the Les Paul guitar. He's been a fan forever. A lot of times, people reading, you never know where they are in their life's journey. It's important to understand that sometimes you might feel like coding, where's it going to lead. I'm a musician. Where's that going to lead? Look at Ori, it leads to good places. Stick with it. Follow your gut feeling and your path in life and it can take you places. How does that play into the type of work that you're doing or does it?
It does. I couldn't play music to pay the bills. I learned that very fast, so I kept it as a hobby, but ever since I started in banking and in fraud detection, I realized there's a lot of algorithmic, logic, and statistical work you can do. If you put all that together, we used to do it in our heads and with software like R or SaaS. ML and AI are taking what humans used to do with their hands-on Excel sheets and helping to do it better, faster, easier. I do think when I look at my own children, what they would learn now and what tools they will use going forward, a lot of that manual work won't be there anymore. I'm sad about it because I do think it helps the mind, but I'm also happy about seeing the use cases that AI could bring to the field of fraud detection, authentication, and identity proofing because it will, over time, do a better job than anybody can do on an Excel sheet.
Let's talk about AI in your world at Trusona. I'm curious. One of the folks who worked with me at Webex was one of my early reps from 2005, he's now the CEO of a company. It tracks if you say you're a student at a university or you're in government and you're trying to get a discount at Walmart.com. That's the things that they do. I suspect your application to authenticate people, not passwords. Does it also do those kinds of things as well?
No, those things are more in the fraud detection space of living in shades of gray of saying, “Is this what I think it is?” We have taken our software into a deterministic approach, which means do you have the certificate we placed on you? If you do, then you are Chad. If you don't, you're not Chad, or you're a bot that pretends to be Chad. We have taken it to the deterministic approach because the decisions we need to make have to be done in milliseconds without a lot of false positives. Where AI plays the majority of the role is in the analysis of the same data we already manufactured in others in 1, 10 or 30 minutes later because you get a bird's eye view of all the logins that have happened. We simply are given such a small window of time to operate in, so everything is optimized for binary decisions at the moment of the login.
Especially in the world of virtual assistants, my company gets involved in a little bit of that. I could see how all of a sudden, a salesperson could have ten fake profiles. The world doesn't need that. What are some of the use cases of Trusona and maybe there's a customer you could share or a different case study?
The clearest one that we use with salespeople is logging into Salesforce. A native Salesforce has a username and password. I'm sure none of the readers love to use that. If you have a CSO that is very paranoid, you need a username and password and some 2FA, OTP, or something on top of it. What we do is allow you to log it into your Salesforce by pointing the phone at your screen. That's it. No remembering, no typing. The world is going to move to the point that passwords would look like it's stodgy, old technology. It's like if I'll tell you, “Chad, I'm going to send you a fax,” you're like, “What are you talking about?”
In the next few years, using passwords will be seen as an old-school way of doing something. Salespeople especially need to focus on making the customer happy in selling something. Don't bother them with all kinds of red tape to get into their accounts and do their job because you're going to have a loss of productivity and mojo there. They want to get in and do the right thing for the customer. That's where I think we will see the intersection of where Trusona plays and AI in the worlds of sales and sales automation in sales enablement.
I can personally relate to that because I was hacked. I remember my Google passwords. I literally saw it. Thank goodness I was watching it at that moment. It was like a set of dominoes. All of a sudden, my son's bank account and everything was stored in my Chromebook browser were hacked. I discovered later, I have close to 1,000 different passwords. It took me about a week of work for 40 hours to go through each of those to close off all the doors. Now, I've found Trusona. Where's their good stuff?
AI just thrown with garbage data is not going to give you great insights.
That will come at the end when we talk about what we can do for salespeople. No more passwords.
Just remembering that makes me pull my hair out, but it was so important. You have to drop everything because they literally had access to my son, my daughter, my wife and all of my banks. They had it all. It was like, “How much time do I have?”
It's a race to the bottom to see who gets to your login first.
Thankfully, nobody got a thing. Now everything's 2FA. I think I have 16 out of the 1,000 duplicated passwords. Those are the ones where I'm like, “You can have it.” Thinking about if AI didn't exist and we were using Excel spreadsheets, what would your offering be in the marketplace without it?
I personally wouldn't be there. I don't think the old way of doing things would lend itself to allowing people to use smartphones, certificates, and all the things we're using. I also think that when you take the AI in sales specifically, I know you didn't ask, but I'll share it with you. Without mentioning tools, I’m getting insights that I could never get on an Excel sheet before. For example, you and I had a sales rep that is doing business with Acme.com. By hooking up their email box to the AI tools, I don't need to ask them how many emails and when did you send to the customer. It's monitoring it in a way that is very obvious to see. I can now connect it to the CRM, to the productivity, to my board slides, and all of a sudden, you know how they say hope is not a sales strategy.
When somebody tells me, they're going to close something and I look at the analytics of their behavior, and they've never called this customer. They had one email exchange with them three months ago, I'm like, “You're not closing anything. It doesn't even look like it's going to happen.” AI is going to help us bridge the gap between what we couldn't see before. We believed our team when they said they did something and being very data-driven and saying, “You did do your 40 calls this week. You did send the email. You did get a contract in the exchange.” That will be a game-changer for companies that harness AI in the sales process.
Someone asked me that question of what's the latest tech for that solution. I said, “I've been hearing of a few.” There were some years ago that were ahead of their time. I think they were acquired, and now they're part of a larger organization.
It's real. I can tell you, as a CEO and our sales team, we used these tools now. I didn't believe in them at the beginning because I was worried about the GIGO principle, the garbage in, garbage out. Let me tell you what happens in most CRMs. We enter Bank of America as the name of a customer. The next sales guy called them B of A. The next person put them Bank America. You couldn't see the forest from the trees because everybody had their own interpretation of even the customer’s name. It was hard. If you are relying on your AI on this human entered stuff between you and me, it wouldn't be so helpful. The fact that it's now latching on to emails, domain names, and things that are phone numbers, it's so much easier to know that you're getting all the data correctly and there's nowhere to hide. That was the biggest breakthrough in my thinking because otherwise, just AI thrown with garbage data is not going to give you great insights.
I remember spending a lot of money on that. The customer master in Salesforce was always a very big investment and took a lot of time to figure out how to sort through all that spaghetti. Right on, you can Trusona and make it easier. Thinking about technology versus people. A lot of times, the elephant in the room conversation is, “This is going to display so many people.” What are your thoughts and insight on does this helps humanity or does AI hurt humanity? How does that play together?
I am opinionated about this, and my opinion has not changed. There is no model that self learns and is correct the first time. It doesn't happen. That's a myth. You need human-supervised models always. Nowhere in the near future, you'll see something that would emerge out of nowhere and know what to do because it's a machine at the end of the day that can do a lot of calculations faster than you and I. It can link things together faster than you and I, but context and meaning is the ultimate game.
Even if you look at the CIA in the ‘60s trying to translate Russian into English with a machine, they got some gibberish that wouldn't do the job well. I don't think about it as it will take the job from somebody. If anything, I see a lot of productivity and help to a sales team. I see people that will still need to train, supervise, and build the next model. Could we look at some shifting in what the job roles would be? Probably. Maybe I'll do less cold calling and more work with AI, but I don't think it's going to replace humans the way we are thinking about it.
That's been the standard feedback that I've gotten from almost every guest. It grows the workforce. It doesn't shrink, just like the internet opened up new opportunities. Do you have an estimation on how will AI compare to the internet to efficiency, productivity, and overall growth?
There is no model that self-learns and is correct the first time. You need human-supervised models always.
It's a very difficult thing to predict, but I do think it will put some industries on steroids. For example, if you look at Amazon suggesting two items that says, “Other people who bought what just you bought, bought this.” That would not come with any machine learning or AI that would look at patterns of data and suggest them. It would make our lives better in that sense. I also know that there's the dark side of what you could do with data, but people have done that already, so we can blame AI for that. It's like you can blame fire for doing something bad or nuclear energy. You can light up a city or you can destroy a city. It's us humans who, at the end of the day, give context to the technology. I think the internet that is powered with AI would make routing, sales, and linking dots together faster.
My personal hope is that the medical field would go wild with AI because that's where I think we can extend the mind of one doctor to the mind of many. That will give us a whole brave, new world. I know I sound cheeky when I say it, but now, every doctor you go to, it's whatever they have in their head is what they're going to tell you. Imagine you connect 1,000 heads together and they're all looking at the same thing. I hope for that to be the legacy of AI and not anything else that is a little bit more sinister.
It cures for things. I talked to a biotech guy and he said that traditionally, it could take 16, 18 months for them to try a drug against a certain population. They might have eighteen different populations they want to try it on. These drugs come in and go out and they never make it past phase three. Now with AI, they can trim it down to 1 to 2 months and it can tell you, “Don't go after all eighteen. You need to go after this age bracket, this sex, this background.” The amount of acceleration that can occur is off the charts. Fabulous conversation. The final question is to tell us more about your types of customers. There might be somebody reading this that's a perfect fit. What does your customer look like? What would be the business value of partnering with you?
The good and bad news is that everybody who's reading who's using passwords is my customer. It's pretty much every single one of you where we spend our marketing dollars are usually on regulated industries like banking, healthcare and universities. They must, either for compliance reasons or obvious reasons, provide security and MFA that every person can use. Over time, every single person reading this will go passwordless. It's just a matter of time.
Ori Eisen, CEO, Founder of Trusona, says that passwords are going away. It’s just a matter of time. We all moved to email and moved away from the fax. I happen to believe that Ori’s correct in this one. Thanks for joining the show.
Thanks for having me, Chad.
About Ori Eisen
Founder and CEO, Trusona
Ori Eisen has spent the last twenty-two years in the cybersecurity and information technology industry, and is respected for his business knowledge and leadership. His background includes an in-depth application of innovative solutions for preventing online fraud.
Prior to founding Trusona, Mr. Eisen was the Founder at 41st Parameter – the leading online fraud prevention and detection solution for financial institutions and e-commerce and travel merchants. 41st Parameter was acquired by Experian in 2013.
Prior to 41st Parameter, Mr. Eisen served as the Worldwide Fraud Director for American Express focusing on Internet, MOTO and counterfeit fraud. During his tenure with American Express, Mr. Eisen championed the project to enhance the American Express authorization request to include Internet specific parameters.
Prior to American Express, Mr. Eisen was the Director of Fraud Prevention for VeriSign/Network Solutions. By developing new and innovative technologies, he skillfully reduced fraud losses by over 85 percent in just three months.
Mr. Eisen has an extensive background in developing system infrastructure and implemented solutions, and he is highly regarded in the information and payment technologies industry as a noted leader and technology innovator. Based on this reputation Mr. Eisen is often quoted by industry insiders, and receives numerous invitations to appear as a keynote speaker for industry events and conferences. He is also a founding member at SecurityCanyon.org