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Min Kyriannis launches new technology company Amyna

Min Kyriannis launches new technology company Amyna Cybersecurity expert fulfills lifelong dream with her own “revolutionary” technology start-up

Min Kyriannis launches new technology company Amyna

HACKENSACK, N.J.—Min Kyriannis has worn many hats throughout her 25-year career in the security and technology industry, not to mention the myriad responsibilities she tackles each day as a wife and mother of two girls.

Navigating the family/work balance could be a daunting challenge for some, but Kyriannis has embraced the hectic role of working mom, and in the process, has fulfilled her lifelong dream of starting her own technology company. As CEO of Amyna Systems, Kyriannis is determined to take the security industry by storm once her company hits the ground running later this year.

“Amyna Systems really is a manufacturing as well as a software development company, so I’m going to the ‘dark side,” as people like to call it,” she explained to Security Systems News. “A few years ago, a big manufacturer came to me and basically said, ‘You come from a family who understands technology. Do you think a solution can be developed on how to fix these security issues that are out there?’ I looked at them and said, ‘Hmm, it’s a possibility, since my husband is touted as the creator of SD-WAN, and we both work in this area, why not take on this challenge?”

“After speaking vocally on the need to evaluate the security risks associated with all building systems, especially legacy systems, the need to remediate these issues is critical. There’s too many of them out there and you can’t just go and rip this equipment and its infrastructure out and replace them. This is not just physical security systems, it’s building automation systems, lighting systems, smart building systems, essentially any system that is installed on the network is all impacted. Many of these devices were developed during a time when security was not a big focus. It was there, but the industry wasn’t as it is now. I said, ‘Alright, let me take this back and think about it - dwell on it and do a little white-boarding,’ and the birth of the solution was in our face.”

Kyriannis noted that the process to get Amyna up and running was a long time coming, but the goal of her company is clear.

“It was three-and-a-half years in the making as far as development. We have a revolutionary technology, as well as partners coming aboard. We basically looked at it and said, ‘We know what the issues are – let’s go fix it.’ We came up with a technology to get these systems where we fix the issue - not bandage it.

“We’re working with high-level technologists who understand our position right now. We’re working on the proof of concept, and show that what we have done will resolve many of the issues out there.”

Targeting Critical Infrastructure

Amyna Systems officially started as a business in the summer of 2020 after Kyriannis left her previous position as at Jaros, Baum & Bolles (JB&B).

“I told my previous boss that as I much as I loved working with you guys, it’s just not where I want to be,” she said. “My dream is to start my own business in an area that I love and that’s what I did.”

Kyriannis explained that her company is targeting critical infrastructure at the onset..

“I’m talking critical infrastructure in a sense that we’re not bandaging it, we’re fixing it,” she noted. “We’re working with some entities right now to discuss the proof of concept. If that takes off, then obviously we’ll be moving at full speed ahead.”

Intelligence. Security. Technology

Kyriannis noted that Amyna Systems focuses on “fixing the crux of the problem with IoT devices. Many of these devices are developed with a purpose which is not security, and we are coming in and providing a value add to remediate that issue, so it would be harder to compromise.”

“We’re moving into this realm intelligently and strategically. Our motto is ‘Intelligence. Security. Technology,’” she said. “Many of the people I’m working with are trusted friends, so we’ve been keeping it close, and tight. Since we are building it from the ground, it will be interesting.

“We’re now in the proof-of-concept stage, and once this proof of concept is completed, we’ll be going to market. I’ve already onboarded a few other people to start working on this, and we’ve started to strategize on the products. We have three area that we will be looking at, hardware, software, and data. . Once this kicks off, we can help the cybersecurity industry quite a bit, and that’s what we’re aiming for.”

Kyriannis noted that her staff currently features four to five people. “It’s very interesting because they kind of fell in my lap,” she said. “I started talking to them. they have an interest in this and it’s been phenomenal. We’ve been working closely together on this ever since.”

“Silicon Valley on the East Coast”

Kyriannis has held a variety of prominent roles in the cyber industry. In addition to her role at JB&B, she has served as Co-Founder of GlobalCyberConsortium (GCC), Co-President of Women in International Security (WIIS) - NY Chapter, and Chair, Cybersecurity Advisory Board (CAB) for the Security Industry Association (SIA), not to mention one of four moms (along with Elisa Mula, Antoinette King, and Janet Fenner) who came together to form the Moms in Security Global Outreach, a non-profit organization committed to eliminate human trafficking.

Seeing the dream of starting up her own technology company become a reality was the result of years of hard work, she said, adding the importance of giving back and offering opportunities for others, especially on the East Coast of the United States.

“We work hard to get to a certain point, and this was my dream,” Kyriannis said. “Eventually, with this, Moms in Security, and all the other projects we are involved with, you have to give back. Especially with Amyna, I really want to foster talent on the East Coast. I love the opportunity to partner with someone who is willing to help create an extension of Silicon Valley here on the East Coast. Then we could start working with universities to start fostering programs that could foster these talents locally here..

“One of the things I’ve talked about with the people I’m working with is we have to ensure that as we’re working and creating this business here, we need to start thinking about how we can also help and foster the next generation here as well. . I’ve met so many talented young kids who did not have these types of opportunities (I was one of them), so as we move forward with the business, we need to consider how this fits into the company culture. This needs to be embedded within the company right from the bottom up.”

Kyriannis added that the idea of developing a company culture for employees and their families was embraced by her new colleagues.

“It’s not just me, it’s also the people who are coming on board who have that same mindset, that we as a company are also a family, so we will take care of our employees for the long run,” she explained. “It’s not just developing healthcare benefits; I’m also considering educational programs and family programs, so that with families, there’s an afterschool program at the company for kids. Stuff like that would be beneficial to maintain the longevity of these employees, and also develop a company culture where family is important.”

“In thinking about Amyna, obviously we all want to do well, but I think at the end, it’s also giving back. That’s something we want to imbed into the mission of Amyna.”

A Tech Company

Kyriannis noted that the name Amyna initially was meant as a play on words with her name. When her husband pointed out that the word actually means “shield” in Greek, she decided to stick with the name, and it could mean anything.

More importantly, she stressed that Amyna should not be categorized as a security company.

“We’re not putting ourselves categorically as a security company. We want to be a tech company,” she stated. “We want to be able to grow dynamically, organically, and pivot as needed. We want to be versatile.”

Full Transparency

Kyriannis pointed out the importance of full transparency in order to prevent the onset of a toxic working environment.

“If your company becomes toxic, people are not going to stick around. In fact, you start fostering toxic environments,” she explained. “For me, coming from working a lot, I’ve been in toxic environments. I don’t want to see that in the company. This is why, this is important., building it ground up, keeping the missions very simple, but also letting the people know that there is full transparency.

“I’m not going to be one of those people who you can’t approach. I want you to approach me and talk to me in any situation. If this company does do well and we have the opportunity to grow more, I want people to come up and be able to talk to me like a human being. That’s the way I see myself. I’m not going to put myself on a pedestal; I want you to come and talk to me. I enjoy these conversations, and I think it’s important that people talk, because we can’t learn without communication.”

“Revolutionary” Technology

Kyriannis describes the technology that Amyna Systems will provide is revolutionary in its approach to fix the issues involving these devices ” because “that’s how we approach things.”

Looking ahead, Kyriannis pointed out that her company would be able to start delving into projects during the last quarter of 2021.

In terms of vertical markets that Amyna is targeting, the CEO responded, “We can span into any market really, since we are that versatile. But we’re targeting the most critical ones first.”

Goals

When asked what her goals for Amyna are now that her lifelong dream of starting a company is now a reality, Kyriannis stressed the development of a company culture.

“I jokingly say I want to take over the world, but the reality is I want to be able to say that Amyna Systems is a company that pioneered not just the technology, but also a company culture,” she said. “I would also like to see Amyna go global and build it into a multi-national company. That’s one of the things I want to see – Amyna becoming a global company.”

On a personal level, Kyriannis stressed the importance of seeing her young daughters look at her and how she maintains a balance between being a mom and running a company. She hopes her children follow suit when they get older and start their own families.

“I’ve got two young girls. This to me is important because eventually I want to start developing programs where they include kids in them,” she explained. “To me, family is very important. I always tell people that family comes first. That’s priority – you take care of your family, and your work always follows suit.

“For me, it’s not just pushing myself and elevating the company, but it’s also elevating my role as a female where my kids can say, ‘You know what, if mommy can do this, I can do this, and there’s nothing that can stop us.’ My goal for them is to really see themselves later on as they grow up, that there’s nothing stopping them. They can do whatever they want. They can be a mother, they can have a family, and they can work at the same time. It just takes hard work.”

Family/Work Balance

As a wife and a working mother who is fulfilling her dream of starting her own technology company from the ground up, Kyriannis offered this sage advice for those women who feel the need to reevaluate if they can handle the daily rigors of a family/work balance.

“I have many young ladies – mentees – who came to me and said, ‘You know, when I have children, I’m going to reevaluate what my life looks like,’” she said. “I give them this advice – ‘Don’t ever talk like that. What you have to say to yourself is you are going to decide what your future is going to be. You could be a mother, you could be a professional woman, but you’re going to work extra hard to do both, and that’s up to you, so it’s whether or not you want to do it.’ Don’t ever say, ‘Let me reevaluate when I’m ready to have a baby.’ Don’t ever think like that. I always tell my husband, no regrets in life. Decide when you’re at that stage and then ask yourself, ‘Do I want to have my profession and a a family. If yes, then just figure out how you’re going to do it.”

By following her own advice, Kyriannis has made one of the most important decisions of her life. Amyna Systems is almost ready to go full throttle, and with the ideas that she already has to take her company global, there may be a lot more reasons why her family, and the security industry, will be following her path to success.

If you are interested in reaching out to Min at Amyna Systems, please contact her at:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 201-293-0194
Website: amyna.io
Social Media: Twitter - @mkyri8, LinkedIn – www.LinkedIn.com/in/mkyri/, www.linkedin.com/company/amynasystems/

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