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A new star-up – YUZANA.AL

    March 25, 2024

    By Sunny Sun, CyberAsia

    I met Tim Lee during the pandemic year of 2020 when I was eagerly looking for industry experts for a panel discussion to share their experiences on the current state of cyber threats and what it takes to detect and protect against them. Tim had done just that, and that was supposed to be the end of the story.

    With almost 30 years in the cyberspace domain, Tim holds a wealth of knowledge and experience. My perception of Tim is a kind and humble human being, as well as an intelligent and hardworking first-generation immigrant. Because of our shared immigrant background, we connected and developed a bond after his speaking engagements. Through our conversations about each other’s lives, I got to know him a little more. He is going to retire after almost 30 years of service to the city of Los Angeles, which will earn him a comfortable living after retirement. My version of his next chapter of life is to enjoy the leisure not offered while being Chief Information Security Officer for the largest metropolitan city in the nation, dealing with millions of potential attacks on daily basis.

    What surprised me is Tim’s plan to start a new business after retirement. At first, I thought it didn’t make sense — starting a business after retirement? Is the next chapter of life supposed to be a continuous climb, as most entrepreneurs describe, up uphill mountains? Statistics say that 90% of startups end in failure. However, after Tim shared his thoughts, it started to make sense. He pursues his passion and lives with no regrets if his “wealth” of knowledge is shared with a much wider audience and given back to the society that nurtured him to become who he is now.

    Below are his explanations of why, what and how? 

    1) Why did you decide to start a new startup (Yuzana) after your retirement? How did the idea for Yuzana come about?

    After retiring, my enduring passion for cybersecurity and the desire to address pervasive cybersecurity issues led me to found YUZANA. With over 15 years of experience as a CISO in large local governments, I recognized common challenges and aimed to utilize my insights and strategies to assist others in this critical field. The name “YUZANA” holds a personal connection, reflecting my childhood home, “YUZANA Garden,” named after a renowned flower in my hometown. This symbolizes the sense of safety and security synonymous with ‘home’ that I aspire to extend to YUZANA’s clientele.

    2) What is your plan for launching Yuzana?

    Our plan for launching YUZANA.AI involves a strong market entry in Q1 2025 with a beta version, followed by an official product launch in Q2 2025. Leveraging extensive experience in cybersecurity across large public sectors and collaborations with major events like the NFL Super Bowl and LA Cyberlab Public-Private partnership, we identified a pressing need for a unified cybersecurity solution. Focusing on our beachhead market, including large local governments, educational institutions, and major sports event organizations, our engagement strategy addresses their unique cybersecurity challenges. Our prior collaborations not only deepened our understanding of these challenges but also positioned YUZANA.AI as a strategic solution tailored to their needs. As we approach our beta launch, our goal is to solidify partnerships with key stakeholders within these sectors, allowing YUZANA.AI to undergo rigorous real-world testing. This approach ensures that our solution not only meets but exceeds the specific cybersecurity demands of our target markets. By bridging trust gaps and fostering collaborative defense strategies, YUZANA.AI aims to be a transformative cybersecurity ally for organizations of all sizes.

    3) What sets Yuzana apart and makes it unique?

    YUZANA.AI distinguishes itself through a unique blend of innovation, strategy, and collaboration, tailored to the evolving needs of cybersecurity. The key factors setting YUZANA.AI apart include:

    1. Unified Platform: Seamlessly integrating diverse security operations to create a unified hub that streamlines and enhances defense mechanisms across various layers of an organization.

    2. Targeted Alert System (Alert Precision): Focusing on the “Triple Threat Zone” to identify and prioritize critical threats, significantly reducing alert fatigue and ensuring vital warnings are not missed amidst noise.

    3. Simplified Cybersecurity Data Management: Employing a federated architecture to facilitate localized processing of security data while offering centralized, actionable insights, making threat detection and response more efficient.

    4. Enhanced Collaboration: Fostering a cohesive defense strategy across IT, OT, and cyber-physical domains, securing large-scale events, electoral processes, and enhancing collaboration with ISACs to reinforce the security of critical infrastructure.

    5. Equitable Security Posture: Providing balanced and equitable security measures across an entire organization to ensure a comprehensive and unified defense posture.

    4) How long do you anticipate bringing the finished product to the market, and what are your goals?

    Based on the current roadmap, YUZANA.AI is projected to transition from concept to market-ready by March 2025. This timeline encompasses crucial milestones such as team assembly, prototype development, beta testing, and full product launch, with the goal of participating in the RSA Innovation Sandbox by May 2025. While strategic investment could potentially shorten the time to market, our overarching objective is not solely the product launch, but rather to establish YUZANA.AI as a transformative force in cybersecurity, driving proactive defense strategies across organizations of various sizes and sectors.

    5) What are your thoughts/vision for the future in the face of overwhelmed AI capabilities?

    In the face of overwhelming AI capabilities, I believe that AI represents a pivotal breakthrough for human history, just like the advent of the Internet. As with the Internet, AI presents both benefits and risks; however, the overwhelming benefits far outweigh the potential risks.

    Looking towards the future, there is an unlimited potential for commercial application of AI technologies. We anticipate massive improvements in productivity, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness across all major sectors including finance, personal improvement, healthcare, public safety, and beyond. This optimistic vision aligns with the belief that AI will not only revolutionize industries but also enhance the overall human experience.

    6) Considering the increasing power of AI, how do you envision the future cyber landscape?

    As the increasing power of AI and quantum computing become more accessible to both attackers and defenders, a collaborative approach to cyber-attacks and defense will be essential for success. This collaborative strategy, combined with the trends of securing AI and using AI for cybersecurity, emphasizes the need for human-AI teaming in the cybersecurity domain. This shift aligns with the move towards human-on-the-loop instead of in-the-loop, and it will play a pivotal role in effectively addressing the emerging cyber threats posed by quantum computing and advanced AI technologies.

    7) How do you plan to position yourself in this cyberspace over the next 5 years?

    Over the next 5 years, YUZANA.AI aims to establish itself as a leading and innovative provider of cybersecurity solutions for organizations and governments of all sizes.

    In conclusion, we humans live with purpose, value, and motivation, driven by them. We are both shaping and being shaped by our life experiences, becoming who we are and who we are going to be. We wish Tim and his adventure great success.

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