Gil Azrielant, co-founder and CTO
For Gil Azrielant, cybersecurity has been an alma matter since his stint at Unit 8200, Israel’s world-renown Intelligence Corps unit. It was during this time that Azrielant met Dor Knafo. Over the years they often talked about solving the challenge of secure connectivity. With traditional access methods like firewalls, VPNs and VDI technology, providing employees and business partners with access to critical resources meant placing these users onto the corporate network and managing expensive appliances. With the emergence of remote work, and now hybrid work, these technologies are a mismatch for a world where employees are outside the corporate boundary, and the internet is the new corporate network. They’ve also become the conduit for business crippling ransomware attacks that threaten every business today.
In 2018 Azrielant, co-founder and CTO at Axis, and Knafo, CEO and co-founder at the company, set out to enable a world where workplace connectivity is always safe and seamless. The question was how? According to Knafo, “Axis enables any organization to easily set and enforce tightly managed user and application-centric access for employees, partners and business customers alike. With its fully cloud-delivered security services edge (SSE) platform with 350 points or presence (PoP) across the globe, the company, can inspect traffic at scale, improve visibility into security threats, and deliver the best user experience. This vision materialized with the design of the most advanced zero trust network access (ZTNA) service platform in the industry. Now, we’re working to build on that foundation, and evolve the platform even more to meet the needs of our customers. We’ll be making it safer to access the Internet, easier to protect data, and to deliver the best experience for end users – all through a single pane of glass, adds Azrielant.
He further mentions that to outpace the competition, every IT leader has been asked to invest in services designed to ensure the productivity of their workforce and supply chain. This has created a massive opportunity for CIO, CTOs and CIOs to define the new technologies that will securely connect their users to key business resources. The network solutions that have worked for the past 30 years are not only obsolete to adopt to SaaS, public cloud and remote work, but they place users on the network and expose infrastructure to the conduit for ransomware attacks that threaten the business’ data and its reputation.
Axis was designed to enable zero trust, and connects entities to any business resources based on identity, policy, and adaptive context. Unlike firewalls that allow for passthrough connections, Axis Security first terminates all initial connections, and then authenticates the entity using APIs with IDP and endpoint services. “One of the key difference with Axis is that users are never placed on the network, apps are made invisible to unauthorized parties, and in many cases, IT never even has to deploy a client on user devices,” says Knafo.
Axis enables any organization to easily set and enforce tightly managed user and application-centric access for employees, partners and business customers alike
Axis brokers secure connections to all private apps (not just web apps) – and can even support VOIP, ICMP, SSH, RDP, Git and databases. Popular SaaS applications like Salesforce are also supported. Access is simply configured through easy to manage policies, and can automatically adapt based on changes in identity, device posture, even geographic location. By doing so, the service removes the need for the entire VPN gateway, and any firewalls used for complex network segmentation. As the company evolves, their solution will also remove the need for traditional appliance-based secure web gateways. Since all apps are placed behind the service, they are unreachable to unauthorized users– dramatically reducing the potential attack surface. Inline inspection of both private apps and SaaS traffic capabilities not only protect business resources from cyber threats, but provides unprecedented visibility into what employees and third-party users are actually accessing – in real-time. Since BYOD and third-party users often bulk at the idea of deploying a client on their device Axis developed an agentless access method that can secure access to web, SSH, RDP, Git, Database resources— even browser-based RDP sessions— without the need for a client.
Axis runs on the global backbone of the world’s most trusted public cloud infrastructure and has twice as many PoPs than some other popular vendors in the space. The platform has placed a heavy emphasis on developing key integrations with key technologies like Azure AD, Okta, CrowdStrike, Splunk. This enables IT to maximize the return from these investments and focus on the key solutions that matter most. “Along with our $100M in funding from the same world-class investors that invested in Slack, Coinbase, and AirBnB, we are proud of the validation of the dozens of Fortune 500 customers who trust in us. We are excited to be disrupting the secure access industry by making it impossibly simple for IT to securely connect their business users with the resources that matter most,” concludes Azrielant.