Barracuda unveils AI solution for real-time spear phishing and cyber fraud defence


Barracuda Networks, Inc., the provider of cloud-enabled security and data protection solutions, has announced the availability of Barracuda Sentinel, a comprehensive AI solution for real-time spear phishingand cyber fraud defence.

Barracuda Sentinel is delivered as a cloud service and utilises artificial intelligence to protect people, businesses, and brands from spear phishing, impersonation attempts, business email compromise (BEC), and cyber fraud.

Spear phishing is rapidly becoming the most devastating cybersecurity threat. Tens of thousands of companies and individuals have fallen prey, sending wire transfers and sensitive customer and employee information to attackers impersonating their CEO, boss, or trusted colleague. According to Osterman Research, while CEO Fraud/BEC attacks are less common than phishing or ransomware, 27 percent of organisations have encountered such an attack during the past 12 months. The FBI reports that organisations have already lost $5 billion due to BEC. Beyond the financial impact, these attacks can cause irreparable damage to an organisation's reputation and brand. Because the attacks are highly personalised – and typically contain no malicious attachments or links – existing security solutions fail to detect them.

Barracuda Sentinel combines three powerful layers of artificial intelligence technology, domain fraud visibility, and anti-fraud training, into a comprehensive solution that guards against these personalised attacks. Barracuda Sentinel directly connects to communication platforms, such as Microsoft Office 365, which allows immediate access to current and historical data required to understand an organisation's existing communication patterns and prevent impersonation attempts.

"Spear phishing is rampant. It's no longer just the large enterprises or C-suite that need to be on high alert—everyone is a target," said Asaf Cidon, vice president of content security services at Barracuda Networks. "We see novel combinations of highly personalised tactics—spoofing your domain, impersonating your CEO, engaging in convincing conversations with your employees. In today's dynamic threat environment, the best defence includes a combination of people and technology. Barracuda Sentinel leverages artificial intelligence to give customers—people—a comprehensive way to stop spear phishing and cyber fraud attacks in real time."

AI for Real-Time Spear Phishing and Cyber Fraud Defense

Barracuda Sentinel is powered by a multi-layer AI engine that detects and blocks spear phishing attacks in real time and identifies which employees are at highest risk of spear phishing. Barracuda Sentinel examines information from multiple signals to learn the unique communications patterns of each company and to analyse the content of the messages for sensitive information. Barracuda Sentinel combines this messaging intelligence to determine with a high degree of accuracy whether an email is part of a spear phishing attack.

"As our research shows, CEO fraud / BEC attacks are on the rise. Attackers are constantly evolving their tactics to evade defences, and are more frequently targeting lower-level employees who might have access to sensitive information or who might have authority to authorise or send payments," said Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research. "Barracuda Sentinel's ability to learn an organisation's unique communication patterns is important for any organisation looking to identify high-risk employees and have comprehensive protection from these types of attacks."

Domain Fraud Visibility and Protection

In a significant percentage of successful spear phishing attacks, attackers spoof the domain of a company to impersonate one of the employees. In addition, attackers frequently exploit domain spoofing to send emails on behalf of the company to its customers and partners to steal their credentials and gain access to their accounts. Barracuda Sentinel gives companies visibility into domain fraud and protects against spoofing by setting up DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance). DMARC allows companies to monitor emails sent from their domain, ensures deliverability for legitimate email traffic, and prevents unauthorized messages from being sent from company domains. Barracuda Sentinel delivers visibility and analysis of DMARC reports, which prevents spoofing-based spear phishing and brand hijacking.

Anti-Fraud Training for High-Risk Individuals

Barracuda Sentinel leverages intelligence gathered from its machine learning engine to identify high-risk individuals within an organization. Once identified, Barracuda Sentinel offers a set of tools to periodically and automatically train and test the security awareness of these employees with simulated spear phishing attacks.

Cloud-Delivered Functionality, Zero Impact on Network Performance

Barracuda Sentinel is delivered as a cloud service, without any hardware or software to install or maintain. Barracuda Sentinel works alongside existing email security solutions, including native Microsoft Office 365, Barracuda Essentials, or other email security solutions. Barracuda Sentinel's API-based architecture is designed to make it easy to extend protection beyond email, to additional communications platforms such as G Suite, Slack, social media, and others. Barracuda Sentinel is available for Microsoft Office 365 users.

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