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3 Ways Abnormal Complements Security Awareness Training

Abnormal aims to provide superior detection of email attacks while also directly and indirectly influencing the security awareness of your employees.
June 6, 2024

Email remains the top cybersecurity risk, accounting for $51 billion in losses since 2013, according to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center. Attackers often gain entry through email because they know that humans are the weakest link in the security chain. Unlike software, you can't "patch" a person, and we are all vulnerable to the deceptive tactics used in malicious emails.

These harmful emails can slip past even the best defenses. To combat this, security teams typically invest in security awareness training tools, assigning educational modules to teach employees about potential threats and best practices for cyber vigilance. While this training is beneficial, it isn’t sufficient for effective security awareness. Security awareness should be viewed as a comprehensive strategy, not reliant on a single tool. Instead, it should be integrated into every security process and procedure.

At Abnormal, our mission is to provide superior detection of inbound email attacks and seize every opportunity to enhance security awareness, directly and indirectly. Let's examine a few examples of how we achieve this.

1. AI Security Mailbox

Any interaction employees have with the security team or security processes presents an opportunity for security education. Yet, security teams often fail to capitalize on these opportunities. One commonly overlooked opportunity is the workflow for handling user-reported phishing emails. When an employee receives a suspicious email, they are trained to report that email for further investigation by the security team. Due to time constraints, security teams often forget to close the feedback loop by sending a message back to the reporter, leaving them less likely to report suspicious emails in the future. Alternatively, some security teams will respond to reporters with a template-based response stating the classification of the reported message (i.e. malicious or safe) and encouraging future reporting. While this is a good alternative, there is still a better option.

Abnormal’s newly announced AI Security Mailbox product leverages AI to automatically craft and send AI-generated responses to reporters that not only state the classification of reported emails but also provide the underlying reasons as to why that email was determined to be safe, malicious, spam, or a phishing simulation. The explanation added by the generative AI responses will engage and educate the reporter, encouraging them to report future suspicious emails.

Below is an example AI-generated response I received after reporting a phishing email.

SAT 1

The response tells me that the email was safe, explains why it appeared suspicious, and provides additional context regarding its validity. Note that the generative AI responses can be customized by providing custom instructions, such as specifying tone and sharing security policies, within the AI Security Mailbox settings.

While that initial response email was educational and engaging, what if I have a follow-up question? Instead of submitting an IT ticket or reaching out to the understaffed security team, AI Security Mailbox allows the reporter to reply directly to the response email.

SAT 2

After emailing the question, I received a prompt conversational answer in my inbox from the AI Analyst, which stated:

“Domain age is considered when evaluating the potential maliciousness of an email because newer domains are often used by cybercriminals for phishing or fraud campaigns before they are blocklisted. Older domains tend to have established reputations and histories that can be analyzed for trustworthiness. Therefore, a recently registered domain sending emails could be a red flag indicating a higher risk of malicious intent.”

The AI Security Analyst is an extension of your security team dedicated to employee outreach. Providing detailed, personalized, and prompt responses to employees increases security awareness.

2. Reclaimed Security Resources

According to the Tines Voice of the SOC report, the most frustrating task for security teams is spending time on manual work. This is especially true for email security professionals. Manually investigating and remediating emails is time-consuming. Email security professionals also spend significant time tuning and configuring the secure email gateway. Abnormal offers a fundamentally different approach to email security which allows you to reclaim resources spent on those tedious manual tasks. Here are a few examples:

  • Abnormal’s API-based Architecture: Abnormal utilizes an API-based architecture. Abnormal can integrate into your cloud email environment in just three clicks. There are no record changes needed and no interruption to mail flow. This stands in stark contrast to competition which requires significant manual work to integrate the product.

  • AI-Native Email Security: Abnormal’s AI-native detection engine models human behavior by analyzing data across multiple data sets. This enables the detection of anomalies with behavioral AI detection. Abnormal doesn’t require the creation and upkeep of rules and policies. Once integrated, Abnormal’s AI models will automatically optimize and tune to provide the best detection against the full spectrum of inbound email attacks.

  • Automation: Abnormal reduces manual work across email security operations by automating manual processes such as the remediation of malicious messages, automation of the entire user-reported email workflow, and the investigation and remediation of internal account takeovers. The average Abnormal customer saves their security teams an average of 15 hours each week resulting from its automation.

As security teams reclaim time spent on previous manual tasks, they can divert attention to higher-priority tasks. This could include engagement with employees and personalization of security awareness training.

3. Advanced Threat Detection and Remediation

While security awareness is crucial, building a robust defense against threats landing in the inbox is even more vital. Educated and security-aware employees are valuable assets, but it is not their primary responsibility to identify malicious emails. When employee inboxes are flooded with spam and malicious emails, productivity suffers, and employees are unfairly burdened as the frontline defense. Implementing an email security solution with superior detection capabilities reduces security incidents and allows employees to focus on their core tasks. Superior email security allows employees to stay vigilant for the occasional suspicious email while remaining focused on their primary job responsibilities.

Enhance Your Organization’s Security Awareness With Abnormal

While traditional security awareness training is a crucial component of any cybersecurity strategy, integrating a behavioral AI solution can significantly enhance its effectiveness. The AI Security Mailbox and its associated generative AI and conversational responses, in combination with the automation and efficacy provided by Abnormal, create a robust, adaptive security environment that empowers employees and strengthens your organization's defenses against cyber threats. By leveraging the power of AI, Abnormal complements and enhances your security awareness training, ensuring your organization stays one step ahead of cybercriminals.

Interested in learning more about how Abnormal complements your security awareness training? Schedule a demo today!

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