Introducing Horizon PhishGuard™: A Force Multiplier for CISOs and Security Teams

A huge problem plaguing the cybersecurity industry is lack of people and resources. Throughout my career I’ve never been in a position where I felt “Hey, I think I’ve got too many resources!” Especially as organizations look at the new post-COVID-19 world we all live in, talent and funding are at a premium. According to a recent (ISC)2 survey, COVID-19 forced (already time-strapped) cybersecurity workers off some or all of their typical security duties to assist with other IT-related tasks, and cybersecurity incidents have increased since the transition to remote work. As (ISC)2’s CEO noted in one interview, “We are outnumbered—the people that are doing bad things, whether it’s a nation-state type of activity or cybercrime—the good guys and gals were vastly outnumbered prior to the pandemic … It has a compounding effect to what was already a challenge…”

It is in that spirit that we at Area 1 Security recognized that our customer’s security operations would benefit from a new solution to the people problem. Enter: Horizon PhishGuard™. With Horizon PhishGuard, we give our customers and cybersecurity VARs and MSSPs dedicated resources from our own team of phishing experts to enhance Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud response, deep dive email threat hunting, and overall automation of their email security.

What is Active BEC Fraud – and Who Can Prevent it?

Active fraud in progress must be dealt with swiftly and accurately. With Business Email Compromise (BEC), the mix of social engineering, exploitation of business processes and executives as lures creates additional challenges for security staff. Security teams are burdened with providing the proof that what looks like normal business processes are actually fraud attempts.

Imagine this scenario. After weeks of silently observing, an attacker hijacks a conversation between a trusted vendor and your finance team concerning a new CEO-backed business venture. The attacker attempts to divert funds to an attacker-controlled account.

In order to stop this sophisticated Type 3 BEC attack, you’ll need to 1) detect this attack in the first place, 2) confirm this is an actual malicious attack, and 3) provide enough forensic evidence to convince executives this isn’t a typical business transaction. Even without the time-sensitive nature, this in itself can be a laborious process for many security teams with overflowing to-do lists. It also shows how a trusted security partner can provide value and help expedite the process by providing preemptive fraud notification and packaged forensics as proof of an attack. This service frees up security investigation cycles, helps security teams report back to superiors, and gives customers time advantage over the attacker.

A True Customer Partnership

In my time as a CISO I came to rely heavily on my trusted security partners to enhance my team’s ability to perform mission critical protections. The only problem? I didn’t have anybody watching my email. Email being the prime target for most security incidents and breaches, I needed a large portion of my full time employees’ time dedicated to triaging email submissions from my end users. I didn’t have a large team, nor did I have the funding for additional FTEs to support the email analysis. Needless to say, I needed a program like Horizon PhishGuard.

I wasn’t the only one craving a program like PhishGuard. We at Area 1 Security have been talking with our customers about how to better serve them. All would agree that they needed extra eyes looking actively to defend against BEC and email-based financial fraud. As we built out our framework for PhishGuard, we focused on our main goal: true customer partnership.

We strive to be the trusted voice that our customers and cybersecurity VARs and MSSPs can go to when they need support. We want to establish meaningful partnerships with our customers and partners so they can all succeed in the fight against phish!

To learn more about Horizon PhishGuard, contact us at [email protected] or schedule a demo here.

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Kevin Wilson Headshot

Kevin Wilson

Senior Product Manager at Area 1

Kevin Wilson is a Sr. Product Manager at Area 1 Security. Throughout his 14 years in Cyber Security, Kevin has been an Analyst and Engineer in various organizations such as the U.S Navy, First Data, and Lowe’s. Previously he served as the Global Information Security Officer at Guess? Inc as well as a Product Manager for McAfee.

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