Since 2017 “Support to SME Development in Armenia” (EU-SMEDA) project, which is co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ PSD SC Regional Programme, in cooperation with Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF), has been supporting Armenian startups with two grant competitions.

Being a part of the EU4Business and EU4Innovation Initiatives, EU-SMEDA provides 2 types of grants: Innovation Matching Grant (IMG) and Science and Technology Entrepreneurship (STEP).

With a series of articles we will be exploring startups that received grant in the framework of the EU-SMEDA project.

“We make hackers feel at home,” states the team behind Illuria security, a startup leveraging cyber deception technologies to lure, contain, analyze, and circumvent malicious attackers and emergent threats.

Illuria’s fully automated solutions reduce the risk of cyber-attacks by detecting, tracking, and deceiving hackers.

The startup is a team of five founders and an intern.

According to Chris Arman Kiloyan, the co-founder and the chief information security officer at Illuria security, the startup is building a complete, automated solution for security, cyber-deception, reporting, analysis, threat intelligence, and adaptive threat response.

The underlying system is capable of detecting new and emerging cyber-attacks, while automatically orchestrating and maintaining network and application integrity. The Illuria Command and Control Dashboard provides unified visibility from networks/systems to application layers. This reduces cyber-attacks risk, time to response, and eliminates human errors, while generating forensic data for later analysis.


Chris notes that the STEP grant has helped the team pay for resources and operating expenses, while it continues development and prepares for case studies and product testing.

The startup is not only targeting the Armenian and European markets, but also North America.

“The Armenian market is like a fertile soil and adversarial competition is rarely faced, creating a collaborative and supportive environment which enables startups to grow rapidly. This unique environment gives enough space to each of the emerging startups to expand and evolve. The ecosystem and these conditions help the development of startups and offer numerous opportunities which might be hard to find in other regions of the world.

We as illuria Security, didn’t have any such difficulties in building our startup, and we are confident enough to know that when obstacles arise, we are more than able to overcome them with the help of this environment,” Chris explains.

Illuria Security’s goals for the upcoming 1 year are:

  • to grow into a bigger team to help achieve our vision and create a community and a culture.
  • to expand and scale to other regions of the world, having successful stories and case studies.
  • to be capable of providing valuable information and contribute to the cybersecurity community and spread awareness starting from Armenia.