Back to Blog April 27, 2022

    Humanizing Cybersecurity: Axonius Partners with Simone Biles and Amy Bream

    Military-grade. Enterprise-ready. Robot animals in the Matrix fighting hackers in hoodies with pew-pew laser graphics. After the next big breach hits the news, stick your head out the window, and you’ll hear the sound of a million cybersecurity vendors updating their PowerPoint decks to show how their product would’ve stopped it.

    Cybersecurity is an industry with amazing technological innovation — and weird marketing. In a crowded sector with thousands of vendors, we know that we need to stand out, yet we settle for copy-and-paste messaging. And one thing has always baffled me: cybersecurity brands never feature actual human beings and their stories. 

    Simplifying the Axonius Story: Controlling Complexity

    The value Axonius brings to all customers can be boiled down to something simple: Axonius helps customers control complexity.

    Complexity is inevitable. It’s the second law of thermodynamics: things become more complex over time. At work and in life, we know this, and that’s precisely what we see in our customers. We add more users, devices, cloud instances, and SaaS applications. As we do that, we add more solutions to manage and secure these assets.

    The result? A complex environment that makes it difficult to know what we have, to understand when any asset deviates from our expectations, and to find meaning in the noise to automate action.

    Featuring Humans to Tell the Story - Part 1: Amy Bream

    The idea that Axonius helps customers control complexity is a good foundation for a story, but shouting “control complexity with Axonius” is exhausting, ineffective, and annoying. We had to find a way to tell that story in a more compelling and relatable way. I wanted to find an example of a person who personifies the idea of controlling complexity and overcoming adversity. 

    Then I saw this video:


    Amy Bream is amazing. A CrossFit champion and kickboxer, that one video did a better job explaining the ability to adapt to what’s thrown at you than this entire blog post. While we were developing the controlling complexity campaign, I kept referring back to Amy’s video, and finally decided to reach out to her to explore a partnership. 


    Fast forward a few months, and we were in Nashville, TN shooting our first ever Axonius documentary video:

    It’s impossible to spend time with Amy Bream and not be inspired. She’s warm, funny, genuine, and a total badass. 

    Featuring Humans to Tell the Story - Part 2: Simone Biles

    While we were building the controlling complexity idea, I asked colleagues, friends, and family the following question: “Who do you think is a public figure that best exemplifies and personifies the idea of controlling complexity and overcoming inevitable adversity?” I’d then give my example: Simone Biles.

    But Simone Biles is a legend. Arguably the greatest athlete of all time. There’s no chance that her team would respond to — let alone partner with — a cybersecurity company, right?

    As they say, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so we took our shot. And we heard back.

    What you might not know about Simone Biles is that she takes partnerships seriously. No one-offs. And not only that, but to even consider a partnership, Simone and her family have to unanimously agree to partner with any brand. We needed to make our case. So we did:

    We’re now excited to share our first two videos with Simone Biles. First, the full version of what you’ll likely be seeing wherever you find commercials:

    For our second video, Ruckus, the creative agency that produced the Amy and Simone videos, came up with the idea to record Simone and her family having a conversation around dinner. What follows is “Dinner with the Biles”:

    Dinner with the Biles

    Rethinking How We Create Content: Axonius+

    Finally, when we were thinking about how to share all of this new video content, we realized that the way companies share their content is wrong. You create content that you’re proud of, upload it somewhere, drop it on a landing page, and call it a day. But human beings don’t consume content that way. B2C brands do it right. 

    Two examples are Peloton and Netflix.

    At Axonius, we’re big Peloton fans. (Check the hashtag #axonius for proof next time you’re on the leaderboard.) One thing I love about Peloton is the ability to join live classes when I want to do something real-time with others, along with being able to find specific content when I don’t want a live ride. And Netflix makes it really easy to bounce between different kinds of content you’re looking for — whether it’s a documentary series or a new movie. 

    As content consumers, we’re used to the streaming experience. Make it easy for me to browse, find what I want, and suggest other stuff that I might not know about. 

    But when we switch from relaxing on the couch as a B2C consumer to a B2B context, it’s an entirely different experience. 

    Q: Where’s the best place to hide from the FBI?
    A: On page two of a “resource center”

    As vendors, we end up creating lots of content, tossing it on the resource center, and calling it a day. And once something new pushes it off the front page, it’s never found again. Why do we do that? Because that’s the way it’s always been done.

    We decided to try something new. Axonius+ is an attempt to put all of our video content in one place that is intuitive. It’s a way of rethinking how IT and security professionals want to find and watch content that matters. It’s an experiment, but we’re proud of it.

    I want to thank the entire Axonius marketing team for turning a crazy, audacious, ambitious idea into reality. And I want to thank Amy Bream, Simone Biles, and their teams for taking a chance by partnering with a cybersecurity company that wants to humanize the heroes that protect us all. 


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