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Technical.ly’s Editorial Calendar explores a different topic each month. The October 2018 topic is cybersecurity.
Rockville, Md.-based INKY makes a cloud-based email security platform powered by unique computer vision, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The company has a main goal to stop attacks on company inboxes, allow people to have confidence in the messages they are receiving and know that the people interacting with them are who they say they are, INKY Cofounder and CEO Dave Baggett told Technical.ly. Baggett also cofounded ITA Software, the airfare search company purchased by Google in 2011 for $730 million which now powers Google Flights.
INKY has been in business selling its email security solution for about a year. This week, the company announced the release of its flagship product INKY Phish Fence, which detects phishing attacks using computer vision, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The software is designed to protect enterprises from widespread phishing, spear phishing and extortion attacks.
With this launch, INKY released new data highlighting that more than half of phishing emails are passing traditional anti-spam filters.
So what’s a phishing email and why should we defend against it? Baggett described two distinct forms of a phishing email:
- Spear phishing: “These emails look like personal emails from important people: wire requests, invoices, requests for W-2s, attachments for review or requests to purchase gift cards, etc.,” Baggett said.
- Brand impersonation emails: “These look like legitimate transactional emails from DocuSign, Microsoft, etc. They’re usually aimed at credential harvesting,” Baggett said.
The INKY Phish Fence software is designed to be simplistic to use and takes the user less than an hour to download. From there, the software will do the rest.
“With over two dozen computer vision and text analysis models, Inky sees the message much like a person would. This allows Inky to see text-logos and catch text, type, and image anomalies that a human would miss. Inky then provides easy to understand banners at the top of the recipient mailbox, letting them know how Inky evaluates the message,” Baggett told Technical.ly.
Inky’s solution is targeted at the enterprise, rather than the individual consumer. The product integrates directly into Microsoft Office 365 and Google’s G Suite. The company’s software blocks a wide range of things from sophisticated phishing threats to the persistent everyday spam and malware. After employees are alerted with the warning banner, INKY’s IT and security team will also give users specific guidance on potentially problematic messages.
Backed by ClearSky Security, Gula Tech Adventures and Blackstone, INKY raised $5.6 million in Series A funding to fuel the company’s go-to-market approach, the press release states.
“There is an obvious lack of innovation around detecting and preventing today’s sophisticated phishing attacks. With the launch of INKY Phish Fence, enterprises will now be able to detect and prevent against the industry’s most common, yet formidable vectors,” Ron Gula, founder of Gula Tech Adventures said in a statement. “Investing in this space is incredibly important as the first line of defense against attackers gaining access to sensitive data.”
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