Ironscales raises $15 million to defeat phishing attacks with AI

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Ironscales, a Tel Aviv and Atlanta startup developing a holistic phishing prevention, detection, and response platform, today revealed that it’s secured $15 million in series B financing led by K1 Investment Management. The newfound funds bring the company’s total raised to over $25 million, and founder and CEO Eyal Benishti says the money will be put toward building out Ironscales’ stateside operations.

It’s ripe timing. This past year, Ironscales experienced triple-digit growth and ten times revenue growth in the U.S. alone as it added dozens of brands to a client base just shy of 1,000, with the largest gains coming from the financial services, health care, retail, and education segments.

“While email phishing is the oldest and most recognizable cyberattack technique, it remains an extremely complex problem that today requires the power of both artificial and human intelligence in an ongoing cycle of innovation for it to have any positive effect on an organization’s security posture,” said Benishti. “K1 has always believed in our vision for modernizing email security, and we’re thankful once again for their continued deep operational assistance as Ironscales continues to build out our U.S. operations.”

Ironscales

Above: Ironscales’ cloud dashboard.

Image Credit: Ironscales

Ironscales, a graduate of Israel-based incubator 8200 EISP whose founding team included alumni of the Israel Defense Forces’ Intelligence Technology unit, employs what it calls hybrid human intelligence — a combination of machine learning and intelligence tools designed for security professionals — to nip phishing attempts in the bud. Its platform integrates with Office 365, Exchange, and G Suite and benefits from insights derived from spoofing attempts, breaches, and security incidents shared anonymously by certified analysts.

Take Ironscales’ IronShield, for instance. It’s a cloud-based protection module that helps defend against real-time malware, credential threats, account takeovers, and phishing websites using AI, sandboxing techniques, and malicious URL and link detection. Suspicious emails are routed to third parties for analysis and trigger responses if they’re deemed to be malicious, while computer vision algorithms ingest login pages to determine whether they’re legitimate.

IronSights complements IronShield with fingerprinting tech that flags anomalies by taking into account factors like IP addresses, communication contexts, and other metadata. It plays nicely with Ironscales’ Federation module, which logs phishing attack details and cross-references users across Ironscales’ customer base for emails containing a similar pattern. If a match is found, Federation communicates with IronTraps, Ironsights’ automatic forensics and incident response service, which blocks or remediates the attack from inboxes across all endpoints.

Ironscales’ IronSchool provides security awareness training to employees, beginning with an assessment that grades their ability to recognize phishing attempts. Based on their results, they’re guided through short courses made up of staged and real-world phishing attacks to help improve their awareness of malicious email messages.

As for security teams, they can tap the wisdom of Themis, Ironscales’ AI-driven virtual assistant that learns continuously from tens of millions of emails weekly. It considers “dozens” of different phishing protection decisions and criteria in deciding on a response plan to incidents, and it can automatically make and implement its decisions adherent to built-in confidence levels and company policy.

“Since we initially partnered with Eyal and the rest of the team, the company has performed exceptionally,” said K1 managing partner Hasan Askari. “Ironscales’ differentiated method of phishing prevention, detection, and remediation has clearly resonated with enterprises. We’re thrilled to continue to support Ironscales as the company builds on the impressive momentum that they’ve exhibited over the past few years.”

Ironscales employs people in Tel Aviv, across Europe, and at its North American headquarters in Atlanta, and it plans to more than double its headcount in the coming months.

Source: VentureBeat

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