Innovators

American's Startup and Small Business Customer Spotlight

CUJO Twitter:@cujounited | Facebook | LinkedIn | American Way | View Previous Innovators
 

Special Offer from CUJO

Receive 15% off using referral code "AMERICAN" at www.getcujo.com

Offer valid through July 31, 2017

CUJO's mission is to protect homes against the growing threats of home hacking.

The rundown

American: So what exactly is CUJO?

Einaras: CUJO smart firewall secures all home devices against web threats and hacking. Think of it like antivirus for all connected things - from laptops and tablets to smartphones and smart TVs. CUJO device connects to a router to provide business-level internet security and parental controls. With the CUJO app, users can see all devices on their network, get notifications when a threat is blocked, and control what sites/apps their kids can access online.

The team

American: Tell us about the CUJO team.

Einaras: Yuri and I previously worked together at Zenedge.com, an enterprise security company that protects banks and large businesses against cyber threats. We were familiar with the advanced cybersecurity features that were available to enterprises and we saw an opportunity to bring that technology to consumers. Especially as Internet of Things devices are becoming more prevalent and cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated, a need for a smart firewall for consumers became apparent. With our homes full of connected devices we've become easy targets for criminal hackers. You read it in the news every day: baby monitors, smart TVs, tablets - all hacked. Even the FBI director now tapes his webcam so as not to be hacked at home. That is why we have built CUJO.

American: What did you and your team do before co-founding CUJO?

Einaras: Yuri Frayman is CUJO’s co-founder, Chairman, and board member. Yuri has 20+ years of experience as a global entrepreneur. Yuri was responsible for successful exits worth more than $500 million, including LegalKEY (acquired by Hummingbird), Viewdle (acquired by Google) and The Frayman Group (acquired by Intapp). Yuri is also a founder of Zenedge, an enterprise security firm protecting telecoms, banks, and large organizations against sophisticated security attacks.

I am the co-founder and CEO of CUJO. I set the vision for CUJO and oversee strategic partnerships, business development, and overall organization. In 2014, Goldman Sachs selected me among the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs. Since 2013 I have been a member of the prestigious Young Presidents Organization (YPO). A serial entrepreneur, I have launched a string of successful companies in technology sectors, driving them to exponential revenue growth through aggressive go-to-market strategies and thorough marketing and operational models. 

Inspiration strikes

American: How did you come up with the concept for CUJO?

Einaras: In a world where everyone and everything is connected to the internet, cybersecurity crosses the boundary from securing just our bytes to securing our daily routine and our lives. As a parent, I was nervous about my kids’ security when online. I was unable to find any solutions that offered complete protection for all home devices. Soon after, Yuri Frayman approached me with the idea of building a device that would protect all the all devices at home against sophisticated cyber threats. That is how CUJO was born.

The niche

American: What is the advantage for customers to choose CUJO over similar products?

Einaras: CUJO offers a unique network security solution to home users. The closest alternative is antivirus software. Yet antivirus only protects your laptop, not your tablets or other connected devices. If antivirus aims to protect your front door (laptop), CUJO will ensure that the bad guys don’t enter through the window or back door (smartphone and tablet). 

Unlike CUJO which adapts to threats in real-time, antivirus only protects you against malware that was documented a few months prior. Antivirus fails too often because hackers now use sophisticated methods to evolve their hacks in real-time. By the time traditional solutions flag hacks as malicious, hackers change their patterns and fingerprints. Traditional security solutions are outdated with cybercriminals creating new ways to reach into our homes every day. CUJO uses threat intelligence, machine learning, and cloud-computing to analyze your device behavior. When we see a threat - we block it and notify all other CUJOs about the threat. You will get a friendly notification on your CUJO app that your home is safe. 

 

Accessibility

American: Where is CUJO available?

Indre:  CUJO is available at BestBuy stores and on QVC. Or on our site, getcujo.com

American: Does CUJO have plans to expand to other markets?

Indre: By the end of 2017 CUJO will be available in major electronics and big box stores. 

American: How do you market CUJO to reach new customers?

Einaras: Part of CUJO’s mission is highlighting exploits for consumers who are likely versed in the threat of PC malware but may be unaware of the growing threat posed by the vulnerability of the Internet of Things. We promote CUJO by educating customers about the problem of home cyber security and the ways they can protect themselves.

Startup Success

American: What is one piece of advice would you give someone wanting to start a new business?

Einaras: There’s a common advice to stick to Plan A and to avoid backup plans. That is supposed to help you overcome doubts and challenges. In my opinion, as a founder, your job is to always have optionality for your business. That means having plan A, plan B, and all the way through plan Z. If you stick with one plan, you won’t make a turn when you must.

American: What has been your biggest struggle as a small business startup?

Einaras: Our most critical challenge was creating brand new technologies to fight IoT security threats; that took us two years of extensive development. We also started the business when very few people were aware of home hacking and cyber threats in general. That has changed quite a lot since our launch, with hacking becoming a daily topic in the news and on the streets.


Follow CUJO: Twitter | Facebook  | LinkedIn

Read about CUJO in our inflight magazine, American Way

 

 

We're proud to support startups and small businesses through our Innovators Initiative. Our monthly Innovators series features Business Extra customers and is just one of the many ways we empower the growth of emerging businesses.