Patent published on September 28, 2023

KnowBe4's New Patent Could Make Spotting Fake Emails Easier

It’s no secret as to how maddening those deceptive emails, known in the cyberworld as "phishing" can be. At best, a nuisance, at worst, a security breach waiting to happen. KnowBe4 recently patented a unique approach (US20230308471A1) to help individuals get better at discerning real emails from these dangerous doppelgangers -- a system that cleverly provides a measure of one's ability to detect such scams.

In today's digital era, the inability to differentiate between safe emails and malicious ones is a growing concern. There have been countless instances of sensitive data being snatched away due to one wrong click. Companies are striving to ensure their employees are sharp-eyed, to nurture a safe digital environment internally. Despite numerous training exercises, a comparative measure of a staffer's ability to identify such fraudulent emails was missing. And, simply comparing two team members based on a singular score wasn't painting an accurate picture of their awareness because the complexity of the phishing attempt wasn't being factored in.

KnowBe4’s patent offers a solution to evaluate the difficulty of a simulated phishing template in connection with an individual’s security maturity level. Their system first sprays out fake phishing emails to users. How each individual interacts with these emails is then recorded. Based on these interactions, the system determines, for each user, the level of difficulty they can handle when it comes to identifying phishing emails.

With this patented solution, companies can now make accurate comparisons and potentially strengthen their email safety parameters. But how might this system be used in everyday life? Picture this - An employee receives a mock phishing email. Unaware, they click an embedded link in the email. This action is then logged by KnowBe4's system, following which the system classifies the employee based on their "security maturity". This process allows precision in training individuals for better threat awareness.

In the long run, this system could revolutionize how companies handle email security, in turn making digital communication safer and putting minds at ease. Businesses, for instance, could even use this system as a standard for their employees. Thus, cultivating a more security-conscious workforce that is less susceptible to cyber threats.

P.S. Keep in mind - While exciting, this is a patent. In other words, a blueprint of how such a system could function. There is no guarantee whether it will show up in an actual product or when that might happen if it does. But if and when it does make its debut, it promises to be an excellent tool for enhancing digital security in our modern, interconnected, email-driven world.

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