Email Security Blog

Advancing Phishing Protection – The Analysts Perspective on INKY

When it comes to selecting a third-party email security solution to keep your company safe, it’s hard to know what you can and can’t believe. That, coupled with a number of self-proclaimed phishing experts makes for murky waters. At INKY, our pioneering spirit and uniquely intelligent anti-phishing platform has helped us earn a reputation for excellence, and of that, we are very proud. Still, we realize that as part of any due-diligence effort to secure the best phishing protection it’s important to hear from outside sources. We’d like to share the highlights of a recent analyst's report with you.

451 Research is a division of S&P Global Market Intelligence. According to CEO and Chairman, Martin McCarthy,

“For 20 years, 451 Research has been prized worldwide for its essential insight into innovation, disruption, and value creation in enterprise IT markets. The proven methodologies and constant tracking of enterprise IT customer sentiment assures that 451 Research clients can anticipate and deftly navigate the accelerating evolution of technology markets.”

As part of 451 Research’s ongoing series of reports on companies operating in high-growth, emerging technology market segments, two of the team’s analysts, Scott Crawford and Matthew Utter, wrote and released a research report on INKY entitled, Coverage Initiation: INKY marshals a variety of techniques to advance email threat defense.” We’d like to share some of the highlights.1

  1. As defensive tactics improve, attackers are highly motivated to invest in overcoming those defenses to maintain the critically valuable exploitability of email recipients. INKY is aiming to help organizations on this front, with advanced tactics from computer vision to social network mapping and graph analysis of user behavior in conjunction with other email security techniques. By identifying these characteristics within emails, the company is helping its customers advance email security while simultaneously preserving ready compatibility with existing email security approaches such as SEGs.
  2. INKY has invested in a range of advanced email threat detection tactics to improve email security and differentiate from incumbents and competitors alike. This approach has appeal for customers who need an edge against the ongoing efforts of adversaries to overcome the status quo in email security.
  3. Image manipulation is another common tactic that INKY can recognize and defeat in a variety of ways, while stylistic analysis is another tool enabled by modern analytics that INKY leverages to give defenders an advantage.
  4. The foundation of the product is a machine learning model that ingests data from known senders. Within this process, INKY uses social graphing by collecting data such as the writing behaviors for individual addresses and the relationships between members inside and outside an organization. This helps to create a unique model for every sender that can be used when comparing incoming emails. In order to detect discrepancies, the model must analyze a minimum of 5-15 emails.
  5. In addition, the company checks email headers, source IP reputations, WHOIS, and valid sender domains in addition to analyzing DKIM, DMARC, and SPF records. Aligning these tactics helps improve threat recognition – when email that passes sender validation, for example, can still be recognized for employing suspicious images not associated with those senders or recognized as forgeries. The company also uses natural language processing to identify emails that contain requests for sensitive data such as invoice payments or passwords.
  6. Stylistic analysis is also called upon to recognize variations that fail to correspond with observed sender behavior. When determining if a brand is a forgery, INKY uses computer vision to identify a company's logo based on color, font, shape, and size. Although this process is performed, the company does not use computer vision to recognize if the email is a forgery based solely on the logo. To discover if an email is legitimate, INKY compares the logo found in the email with the company's official website and the sender's mail server. This includes using SPF and DKIM to track the chain of custody to its originating server. If all of these parts do not match, then the probability is higher that the email is illegitimate. This combination of tactics is increasingly called upon to confront the corresponding range and sophistication of adversarial techniques.
  7. When INKY detects a suspicious email, the company will attach a banner within the email chain to warn users Within each of these banners, users can click on different links which provide information on why the email was flagged. INKY believes that this is an effective way of educating employees because it can help them identify dangerous emails in the future. Along with this functionality, users can report suspicious emails directly from the banner. Banners can also be customized based on a company's needs. In addition, INKY strips the banners from outgoing emails, restoring them to their original state. INKY also provides a 'link preview' when a user clicks on a link. This preview is a rendering in HTML of the link target in a headless browser, captured and displayed as an image. The user can check out the content without directly accessing a malicious page.
  8. INKY also provides a reporting dashboard where security teams can view employees and their reporting statistics. These measures include the type of threat reported, and which employees are being targeted. In addition, these teams can conduct phishing simulations to see which employees pose the greatest risk to the organization. From the dashboard, the team can also view and delete phishing emails and create reports from pre-built formats.

It INKY, we’re grateful for the opportunity to have our company researched and analyzed by 451 Research. It’s great to see our name in lights, but the study also serves as a great reminder to all that investing in the type of technology you need to protect your company from phishing attacks is no longer something you should consider to be optional. INKY is the industry’s best solution for the security of your email. We’re cost-effective and powerful, and quickly implemented, regardless of whether your employees work at the office or remotely.

Go beyond reading about INKY and schedule your free demonstration of our services. It’s a great way to see the power of INKY for yourself. Request a demonstration.


INKY® is the emerging hero in the war against phishing. An award-winning cloud-based email security solution, INKY® prevents the most complex phishing threats from disrupting or even immobilizing your company’s day-to-day business operations. Using computer vision, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, INKY® is the smartest investment you can make in the security of your organization. INKY® is a proud winner of the NYCx Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge and finalist in the 2020 RSAC Innovation Sandbox Competition. Learn more about INKY® or request an online demonstration today.