Career Notes 6.20.21
Ep 54 | 6.20.21

Avi Shua: Try to do things by yourself. [CEO]


Avi Shua: My name is Avi Shua and I'm the CEO and Co-Founder of Orca security.

Avi Shua: In fact, I was excited about cybersecurity since I was 13 years old. As a teenager, we had the network in my high school then I was looking about ways you can get  around it. . It was clear to me that I'm going to get into cybersecurity since then. When I became 18 years old to join the Israeli Army, the Intelligence Unit 8200 and go to a cyber training course, which I also later on became the teacher of one of the courses and it all started that way.

Avi Shua: In fact we had in our high school, a team that was both instructors and students that were excited about computers that could help set the network, help with maintaining the IT environment. I was even hired for few months during the summer break. And it was in fact, a really great opportunity to get students who are excited about something to do something valuable with the time help setting things. And I was always attracted to how you can make it more secure. I know it's, retroactively looking at it, it's the high school network. It's not secure by definition. But it was still something that excited me to see what are the different trade-offs, what it means to set it in a certain way, how it can be attacked via different means, et cetera.

Avi Shua: I joined the cyber training course, which is very unique compared to a lot of training experiences that the training is not all about what you know about learning stuff, but about learning how to progress and improve and solve things. It's very rare that we are told there is a problem. You should simply solve it by yourself not by looking on how other people do that, but solve it by yourself. And while you do that, to make sure that you're focused without comparing yourself to others. It really challenges you to get the most that you can.

Avi Shua: Well, I started and moved to Check Point, I've been there for more than a decade. Started as a team leader and later on became a group manager. Started the sandboxing solution of Check Point. The last four years, I was the chief technologist.

Avi Shua: Security is all about choke points. And traditionally, when you look at computers, there's been two chokepoints. The network, you know, it's not the idea of this encryption. You can't see everything, but if you put a device between your physical network and the internet, you'll see it all. So it's a great choke point. There's a different choke point, which is the cloud itself. And they thought that it's needed to be looked at from a completely different view and the only way to do something which is so radical and different is by starting a company and not trying to do it within companies that are many times more focused on the way that on the history and the capabilities that exist till that time.

Avi Shua: My job, it has two ends. One is to lead to make sure that we're executing to the vision, but on the other end to do everything that there is no other owner in the organization. At the same time, we need to build it to make sure that it will go and execute the vision that we created for Orca. The favorite part is to solve extra organization problems. There's so much times in cybersecurity, when companies build solution that looks good on paper, but are not consumable. That requires tons of friction. Requires tons of deployment and in lab, it's nice, but they are deployed on 30, 40 or 50% of the environment. It's not really helpful because the taker can always go to the areas that are not deployed. And theoretically the vendor is okay, but the customer is not secured and can be breached. The one thing that I love about what we do is that we are reducing friction in the organization and it simply helps people to do their jobs. Instead of becoming of plumbers, connecting things, trying to install how to deploy tools, they can do their job and become real security into a security practitioner.

Avi Shua: If you're just getting started, you need to be excited by that. It's not something that, don't do it if you don't love it, because you won't succeed. I think it's true about every profession, but you really need to love that. But second, take the time and do things for yourself. You must understand how things are actually working. You must understand what is the vulnerability? What are the limitation? You can't just go and jump over that without understanding the basics. You always have limitation to capabilities in that, so try to do things by yourself and then everything will be clearer. You'll understand what's important, what's less, if you take this time. This is the thing that makes me wake up every morning to make sure that we are creating products that are valuable and fun for people to use.