It has been just over a year since Aura launched its consumer security and identity theft protection service, and I do not think Aura could have come at any better of a time. More and more people assumed a digital presence, the digitization of businesses expanded at an incredible pace, and the number of cybercriminals grew at an alarming rate. Aura has continued to fill the role of an all-in-one digital security platform, even offering its security platform to businesses as an employee-first solution.
Since my initial Aura analysis, it has grown in many areas. It has added various capabilities, improved its pricing structure, and is implementing a number of AI-based features to bring consumers the kind of personalized, predictive and proactive offering we need in today’s digital world. I want to highlight some areas that stuck out to me as impressive and disruptive and then jump into how Aura is carrying that momentum toward a future of intelligent safety.
Aura is moving at an unprecedented pace
If you don’t know Aura’s story, it began with many acquisitions of some of the most prominent security, privacy and identity protection solutions. Aura integrated these offerings into an all-in-one suite and over the past year has continued innovating to deliver more proactive safety features.
At the time of Aura’s initial launch, its subscription prices were fairly reasonable within the scope of what it was offering. For example, a premium subscription to the VPN Hotspot Shield was $7.99/month for up to 5 devices. For Aura’s Total plan, which featured the same Hotspot Shield VPN for up to 5 devices alongside a plethora of other features including identity theft and fraud protection, Aura charged $20/month. My only gripe at the time was the limited number of devices covered in the subscription tiers’ basic structure, but Aura has expanded its device coverage. Today, Aura includes protection for up to 10 devices for each individual on its plans.
All of Aura’s current subscription tiers now offer everything that was in the Ultimate plan of its first release. You can subscribe to the Individual plan for $15 per month billed monthly and get what was previously offered for $40 a month billed monthly. It only goes up from there, as Aura has added a Couple tier and a Family tier, increasing the number of members, devices, and Identity theft Insurance, and making the cost about $10 per person. Considering Aura has only added value within its digital safety platform and slashed the cost per person by over half, I would say the company is moving fast with considerable momentum.
Aura’s move toward modern
The digital world we live in is very different than what it was a decade ago, or even a couple of years ago. Not only are there more people on the internet, but also more of a person’s life is on the internet within multiple ecosystems of the internet. We live very much in a hybrid world; Hybrid work, hybrid lives, hybrid ecosystems. This hybrid world makes it difficult to have an all-in-one solution and is why the cybersecurity industry has pragmatically evolved towards single-point solutions.
One of the reasons Aura has been so successful despite being a new player in the cybersecurity space is its focus on being a modern security and safety platform. Aura took the many solutions it acquired and created an all-in-one solution focused on simplicity and ease of use. Aggregating these great security and safety solutions into a all-in-one platform was the first step, and the next step for Aura is to innovate toward an AI-powered intelligent safety platform.
Simplicity will continue to be a key principle for Aura as it works toward this moving forward. The Aura platform has to be simple in principle because the simpler it is, the further it reaches to those who need it. A consumer or family should not need to know what a VPN is to understand that it protects them from threats when banking online. Those who are most at risk, the older and younger generations, may not fully understand the dangers of the internet and should not need to understand it in order to be protected.
Intelligent safety and Aura Innovation
Aura will achieve this level of simplicity by implementing smart technologies to create an intelligent safety platform that automates many of its existing features and takes the burden off the user. Aura’s machine learning engine– which they internally refer to with the code name Project Apollo– will drive this product innovation.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are making their way through just about every technology. By implementing AI and ML into a smart network, Aura can proactively prevent malicious threats. Apollo allows Aura to take the personalized data of each user, run it through ML and AI engines and data models, and understand the greatest risk of each person. This allows Aura to personalize the safety of each user and implement predictive and proactive safety measures.
Similarly, for Aura to be a safe platform that secures safe internet practices, it must be universal. In other words, Aura security needs interoperability between the various ecosystems we work, play, consume, communicate, etc. I could even go as far as to say Aura is looking to make each person’s internet protections personalized. By understanding the movement of personal data across hybrid environments, Aura can be proactive and take preventative measures based on an individual’s specific security needs.
I commend Aura for recognizing that innovation within the cybersecurity industry has to happen to stay proactive. Aura is proactively emphasizing the “R” in R&D and is advancing the innovation agenda of Aura through Aura Labs. Good R&D understands that there is risk and failure on the research side of things. The flip side of that is that the handoff from the research to the development and to create tangible business value out of research outcomes is what blossoms into innovation. In talking with the chief scientist and CEO of Aura Labs, Zulfikar Ramzan, I believe Aura understands this at a fundamental level.
While Aura still has a lot of growing to do, I believe it has created an all-in-one solution that addresses the needs of people who have a lot to lose and need simplicity. Bad actors are dynamic and innovative in their method of cybercriminal activities and often hide their methods through familiar means. Aura has excelled in bringing security to the modern era in its understanding that innovation is important within the cyber security industry. Without innovation, the cyber security industry is playing a reactive game rather than a proactive game.
Aura’s mission to create an intelligent safety platform within our hybrid world is incredibly disruptive. Its simplicity and AI-driven intelligence address the hybrid world that we live in that requires a proactive approach to cyber security, not just a reactive approach.
It has to be simple in its user experience, interoperable within the various hybrid ecosystems of a user’s online presence, proactive in its approach to bad actors, and smart using AI and ML. All of these principles combine to make what I believe is the best digital security and safety platform available.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy co-op Jacob Freyman contributed to this article.