INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS

Phishing Protection for Technology and Professional Services

Protect your business from phishing attacks with INKY's next-generation email security solution.

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Why and How Do Phishers Target IT Vendors?

Information Technology (IT) infrastructure underlies almost all commercial activity, and the sector itself is a cornucopia of innovation, intellectual property, and investment. From a phishing perspective, IT vendors represent targets in their own right, but they also hold the keys to everyone else’s kingdoms, in that their technology flaws and features are what phishers exploit to penetrate firms in any sector. 

The most sophisticated IT vendors can fall prey to a cybercrime incident kicked off by a single phishing email that gets through the defenses of companies that know as much about technology as anyone. It’s perhaps ironic that to despoil these juicy targets, phishers use tools created by the IT vendors themselves.

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How are IT Vendors Currently Protected?

At the moment, most IT vendors deliver their email through either their own on-premise Exchange server or a secure email gateway (SEG) provider — including but not limited to Microsoft, Proofpoint, and Mimecast. These services have only rudimentary protection against phishing. Phishing attacks are like nuclear missile sallies. It’s not enough to stop 99% of them; it has to be 100%.

In the tight window between when an email server receives a mail and when it has to deliver it to a recipient’s inbox, the SEGs can only examine the universal email tests (DKIM and SPF), take a cursory look at the nature of the message with regular expression matching, and look up the sender’s address on whatever bad lists they have on the shelf. With this limited examination, they can't spot the phish. And this is the best case. Most can’t run their full analysis stack on every email because it takes too long.

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How Does INKY Stop Phishing Attacks on IT Vendors?

INKY sits downstream from the SEG and spends less than two seconds looking at an email before dropping it in the recipient’s inbox. From this privileged position, INKY catches all the phish that get past the SEGs (proof that they’re not catching them, and we are). Recently, INKY processed its billionth email. It's seen a lot of phish they missed.

What INKY does during those two seconds is release a swarm of mathematical models on the email’s raw HTML code. They all operate simultaneously on it, testing for this and that (our secret sauce), and formulating an “opinion,” which is in fact a number on a scale, representing the results of its particular test.

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Real-time phishing awareness training.

One more model takes the output of all the rest and comes up with an overall score that represents how bad INKY thinks the email is. This value is interpreted to create a colored banner, which is inserted in the email before it's passed on to the recipient’s inbox (and pulled back out of any reply on the way out).

Beyond a certain threshold of badness, the banner is red. Suspicious, maybe spam, but not necessarily outright dangerous? Yellow. Neutral gray means no thresholds were triggered.

The banners also have feedback links that allow the recipient to correct INKY (e.g., That’s not spam; that's my Wall Street Journal subscription!). When an authenticated INKY user designates something spam in the feedback dialog, they have the opportunity to block the sender — or even the sender’s entire domain, a favorite feature of many customers.

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Can you rely on your end-users to be on high-alert for all of these phishing tactics across all devices?

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Brand Hijacking

Detect brand-indicative and scam-indicative images using computer vision models.

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Text Anomalies

Find brand-indicative and scam-indicative text using approximate matching.

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Brand Impersonation

Determine the apparent brand using color palette, layout features, prominent text, and more.

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Zero Font

Pinpoint zero-font and other forms or hidden text.

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Text Cloaking

Identify Unicode homographs, typos, and other text cloaking.

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