After graduating with a BA in MIS and marketing from the Feliciano School of Business in 1997, Ori Eisen moved to San Francisco, California, and was offered a job with a major advertising company before realizing he couldn’t afford to take it. “The salary wouldn’t cover my rent,” he said.
Instead, Eisen took a computer job at Bank of America, which introduced him to the risks of wire fraud and radically shifted his career path. Today, Eisen is a leading expert in financial cybersecurity with more than two dozen cybersecurity patents.
Eisen’s newest venture – Trusona – offers cloud-based identity proofing that relies on a multi-factor login, including touch ID and other features to prevent fraud. “I’m leading the no password revolution,” he said.
Trusona is Eisen’s fourth start-up, reflecting what he calls the “great opportunity” of the United States. “This country is built for entrepreneurs,” he said. “Don’t just get your degree and go work for somebody. Ask yourself, ‘What can I do uniquely in the world,’ and make it happen.”
Growing up in Israel, Eisen dreamed of moving to the U.S. After starting at a junior college to save money, Eisen transferred to Montclair State University and majored in marketing. Eisen, who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, said he still remembers the insights of information management and data analytics professor Dr. Richard Peterson to “find a need and fill it,” a mantra he still relies on today.
“He didn’t just give me an education, he helped shape how I think about the problem and how I think something can be done.”
After working at Bank of America, Eisen created EwireMoney.com, which preceded PayPal and enabled people to move money using the Internet. After selling the company, he joined VeriSign/Network Solutions as its head of fraud, before joining American Express as Worldwide Fraud Director to tackle the problem on a global scale.
In 2004, he partnered forgery and embezzlement expert Frank Abganale, whose notorious check fraud schemes were chronicled in the movie Catch Me If You Can. The pair created 41st Parameter, an online fraud prevention and detection platform for financial institutions and e-commerce acquired by Experian in 2013 for $324 million.
After selling 41st Parameter, Eisen considered retiring, but grew bored and soon began work on Trusona. In addition to his work with Trusona, Eisen mentors young entrepreneurs and invests in other start-up companies. His message to students?
“If you have a great idea, don’t think it has to come from Google or Microsoft,” he said. “You can do it.”
Montclair State saw merit in Dr. Peterson's mantra as well, looking at the expanding needs in the cybersecurity field where Eisen found his success. To fill this need, the Computer Science department has created a Master's program in Cybersecurity, that will begin in Fall 2019.