As a seasoned security executive, I’ve spent my career being part of the security community in a variety of roles in some very special companies – from network and desktop to mobile and cloud. Over the past couple of years, I’ve identified a consistent pattern of customers becoming the victims of a growing number of successful cyberattacks – and subsequent data breaches – despite tens of millions spent on cyber security solutions. The number one culprit? Email-based attacks on unsuspecting end users. In fact, a recently published report from Verizon stated that more than 75% of all data breaches use email as the initial entry point.
Email Isn’t Safe
From a business perspective, this is a huge and complex problem to solve. Email remains the #1 productivity tool for enterprises, not to mention the #1 channel for business-to-business and business-to-consumer digital communication. In 2015 alone, more than 205 billion emails were sent and received every day. That’s a huge pool of unsuspecting users of email, and an increasing number of opportunities for cybercriminals to hack, spoof or otherwise attack businesses, their partners and their customers.
Employee Training Doesn’t Stop Phishing
Many enterprises are attempting to combat targeted phishing attacks – including targeted email attacks, spear phishing and business email compromise – by training their employees to question the authenticity of every single email they receive in their inbox. However, as much as they train (and warn and even threaten) staff not to click on questionable email attachments or respond to suspicious requests for confidential information via email, the fact is, it just doesn’t work. The evidence: according to the SANS Institute, 95% of all attacks on enterprise networks are the result of successful spear phishing.
Cyber Attacks Impact Business Productivity
In addition to the financial damage, training employees to stop trusting their email also has a negative impact on business productivity. The average knowledge worker sends and receives more than 120 business-related emails every day. If they need to scrutinize and question every single email, regardless of whether it’s from a customer, a colleague or their boss, when will they have time to actually focus on the day-to-day business?
With all this on my mind, you can imagine how intrigued I was when Agari founder Patrick Peterson reached out to me to discuss the opportunity to lead the company through the next stage of rapid growth. My enthusiasm grew when I learned that Agari is the only company with a cloud-based technology solution to stop these previously ‘unstoppable’ cyberattacks. The Agari Email Trust Platform combines an industry first identity based approach with the largest footprint of email traffic in the world – to provide unequalled granular visibility into global email traffic. With the Agari Trust Analytics engine, the platform is able to identify and isolate cyberattacks by building behavioural ‘trust models’ based on the identity of the attacker. This is a unique approach to stopping advanced email attacks and, more importantly, it’s proven at scale: 6 of the top 10 banks and 5 of the world’s leading social media networks reaching billions of users worldwide use the Agari platform to protect their businesses and their customers.
I’ve never been so excited by an opportunity in my career! Even though I’ve been fortunate to help lead, transform and grow several start-ups to more than $100M in sales, I’ve also learned that’s it’s rare to find a market opportunity of this size, combined with incredible technical innovation, and a high octane team that works tirelessly to deliver the company vision. I’m humbled to lead this incredible team and company, with top tier customers, to create innovative solutions that are solving complex problems that enterprises of all sizes face. Based on the current situation with email and cyber security, I can’t imagine a more exciting place to be than Agari.
With thanks to Pat and the entire team at Agari, I’m thrilled to be working with you to enable both companies and consumers to have complete ‘trust’ in their number one communication tool: email.