Email Security Blog

Phish Fighting Ingenuity: Getting to Know the INKY Banner

If you have not been introduced to the INKY Banner yet, now is a perfect time. Unassuming on the outside, this industry-fan-favorite communicates phishing threat levels in mere seconds. The INKY Banner is effective yet simple and has prevented millions of email phishing attacks. And, as a bonus, it even has the power to make employees smarter (no kidding.)

What, Where, And How

The power behind the INKY Banner is known as the INKY Phish Fence – stopping phish in a matter of seconds. To do so, INKY performs a high-level analysis using computer vision, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. It sees – and catches – everything. Once the phishing analysis is complete, INKY applies a banner to every email. This INKY Banner notifies the user of the email’s phishing threat level. Gray is safe. Yellow advises caution. Red signals danger. Whether it’s on a desktop, laptop, or mobile device, each INKY-protected email is evaluated.


But INKY doesn’t stop there. A simple colored banner wouldn’t really paint the whole picture. Instead, INKY also communicates the details of the phishing email, which might include danger zones such as:

  • Potential Sender Forgery: you could be getting a CEO impersonation or brand forgery email.
  • Brand Impersonation: the company implied might not be legitimate.
  • First-time Sender: what might appear to be a friend, colleague, or boss’s name probably is a fake since this is the first time this particular email address has sent you something.
  • Confusable Domain: the URL associated with the sender is slightly different from the company it is supposedly from.
  • Malware Attachment: you don’t want to open this one!
  • Blocked Domain: The URL on this email is a dangerous one and we’ve disabled the link.
  • Phishing Content: Elements within this email are indicative of a phishing scam.
  • and more.

INKY Ingenuity: Smarts Behind the Scenes

Another strength of the INKY Banner is that employees have the option of using a “Report This Email” link to communicate or confirm the status of phishing emails. That information goes straight to INKY’s head, making her even smarter.

Speaking of smarts, one thing that may not be apparent at first glance is the fact that the INKY Banners do more than just block phishing attacks, they educate employees by sharing the details of each phishing threat, explaining why a particular email was signaled out. In the end, employees become a little smarter and more phishing-savvy. Sound phishy? There is science behind it.

You see, “Practice Makes Perfect” is not just something your fourth-grade math teacher made up to convince you to memorize your multiplication tables. There is plenty of science behind it. The neurons in our brain use electrical signals to talk to each other. When we repeatedly practice that action over and over, our brains become faster at reading and acting upon those signals. As a result, our performance improves, long-term memory kicks in, and things can become second nature.1

So, what does this have to do with email phishing? Well, for most people — nothing. But for those whose email is protected by INKY, you’re are getting smarter every day!

Okay, that might seem like a loose interpretation of how the brain works, but most anti-phishing software on the market works only behind the scenes. That may sound like a good thing, but if your employees don’t know how to easily identify a phishing attempt, how will they know how to recognize one that slips through? The occasional phishing email simulation exercise is also nice, but it’s not enough. Why? Because the brain embraces repetition. One simulation test, every few months won’t condition an employee to recognize the signs of phishing in the same way INKY’s banners do.

Why Does This Matter?

A phishing email doesn’t do any harm unless it’s acted upon. That’s why the #1 cause for email phishing disasters in human error.2 One click. One download. One approval can bring a company down in a hurry. In 2020, for example, there were more phishing victims than any other type of cybercrime, accounting for more than $54 million in losses.2

Sadly, email phishing attempts get more sophisticated, more numerous, and more costly every year. In fact, the FBI’s 2020 Internet Crime Report showed a 69% increase in the number of complaints from the year prior.2 The overall losses due to cybercrime have climbed steadily since 2017 with little sign of slowing. The simple truth is that you have to do more to protect your business, customers, employees, and future.

INKY provides a level of ingenuity that is unlike other email security platforms. INKY sees things the way humans do, recognizing logos, brand colors, email signatures, and more — but it also sees the millions of things humans can’t, spotting imposters by as little as a pixel. Employees are informed with the INKY Banner, and your IT department will be able to monitor the effectiveness from the INKY dashboard.

Make this a banner year — for your company and its online safety. Learn more about the effectiveness of INKY’s Banners and schedule a free demonstration today.

This blog was updated in March 2022.