Idan Cohen, CEO at Reflectiz tells us about third-party security application solutions.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Idan Cohen: 2020 was a challenging year, both personally and on the business side. But I am extremely optimistic about 2021, as most of the eligible population in Israel is already vaccinated. My family is safe and doing well. Thanks for asking.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Reflectiz.
Idan Cohen: I live and breathe cybersecurity. It all started with a cybersecurity role in the IDF. I was then CTO of the biggest offensive security company in Israel – Bugsec. This was followed by a stint at Cynet, a blooming XDR startup. In 2017, I felt like I had enough experience to build my own company with an issue that I encountered every day in my previous roles – client-side security and third parties. Reflectiz co-founder, Ysrael Gurt, was my colleague at Bugsec. We always knew that this idea was going to materialize in the future. The rest is history.
How does Reflectiz innovate?
Idan Cohen: Well, my partner and I promised ourselves that we would dedicate ourselves to innovation. Not just another cyber startup that is fighting with the same solutions in the same field. I think we have succeeded in achieving this goal, as Reflectiz can scan any given website around the world without a single line of installed code and without any prior configuration. Just name the site, and in less than 10 minutes, you have full visibility and a list of detected issues to mitigate. It’s the simplest way to address our clients’ needs. Reflectiz’s innovative product provides value from day one, without requiring its clients to do anything.
How the COVID-19 pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Idan Cohen: COVID-19 has affected everybody, in one way or another. The beginning of 2020 was challenging, as many deals got postponed and uncertainty levels were high. We cut our marketing budgets and started streamlining our operations. Interestingly, online activity increased dramatically during the pandemic, something that led to a rise in Web-Skimming and Magecart attacks. This created an increased need for the Reflectiz solution, which actually boosted our sales and helped us create traction in the market. I’m happy that we succeeded in tripling our revenue despite the pandemic, all with a very low budget. We also raised over $5M in a Series A funding round led by Capri Ventures, which proves that Reflectiz is indeed solving a big cybersecurity problem.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Idan Cohen: As a CEO, I make difficult choices every day. But I will name two. The first is the decision to retain all of our current employees and keep their compensation structure intact. All Reflectiz employees are like one big family, and providing them with some stability during these uncertain times was very important for us.
The second decision was to kill the marketing budget, which affected lead generation and brand awareness tasks. This decision could have turned against us, but in highly uncertain times, when companies avoid signing new contracts and minimize expenses, it seemed to be the most logical thing for us to do.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Idan Cohen: I’m good at working under pressure and making decisions during uncertain times, so I assume that helps me. Also, my ability to create a detailed budget, conjure a forecast, and come up with a dynamic roadmap helped me to navigate the crisis and prepare for the future.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Idan Cohen: Given the fact that it’s a new market, we don’t really have too many competitors. Either way, none of them can currently provide the full set of capabilities that the Reflectiz solution offers. We plan to stay in the game by giving our clients everything (and more) our competitors are trying to give, but without requiring a single line of code implementation from their side. Simple and secure. Fast and effective.