Email Security Blog

Turning the Tables on Cybercriminals to Turn the Tide of Attacks

Patrick Peterson June 21, 2018 Email Security
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Today is a very proud day for Agari, as we announce a $40M investment led by Goldman Sachs – a validation of our vision to change email security for good when I founded Agari in 2010. My personal journey with email security has been decades long, as I joined IronPort Systems in 2000 and subsequently created IronPort SenderBase (the industry’s first reputation-based service) before it was acquired by Cisco in 2008.

As organizations increasingly embrace digital transformation, we’re witnessing major migrations to Office 365 and Google Suite, making email an even more enticing target for attacks and a greater priority to secure. CISOs may feel like they are fighting a hydra, as soon as they chop off one threat, two more emerge; and despite the decades (and billions of dollars) of investment and innovation in cybersecurity, it is still a battle being lost in the long run.

I founded Agari when I realized email security was doomed to a never-ending arms race in which attackers would develop new attacks and we would be forced to respond to each one. The attackers would always have the advantage. Beyond the inherent difficulty of trying to detect evolving attacks, email is a particularly effective attack vector because it is a direct channel to the most vulnerable network access point: the human element, its end users. Content analysis is effective at catching known bad attachments and URLs, so attackers have turned instead to attack human trust through deception and social engineering.

Unfortunately, the security industry has focused on protecting technology assets, not our people. Even worse, most security solutions have focused on trying to model the “bad” to anticipate the next attack, even though we know criminals will always innovate with an infinite array of badness. When you look for “bad” content or behavior, there are an infinite number of potential permutations of attacks. If you change the equation and, instead, look at what “good” trusted communication looks like for an organization, there are many possible complex combinations and relationships but it is a finite and solvable problem.

Agari has pioneered a new approach that turns the tables on advanced email attacks. This investment is validation that Agari has developed a better way. Instead of trying to anticipate or detect attacks from a limitless number of unpredictable attack vectors, Agari is building predictable models of authentic and trusted communications for every business, leveraging AI, cloud computing power and global telemetry data from trillions of emails and billions of users. Agari is realizing our vision to change email for good and I look forward to continuing the journey with our customers.

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