Patent published on August 15, 2023

KnowBe4's PhishER Product Aims to Make Fake Emails Look Real for Training Purposes

Company KnowBe4 has recently been granted a patent (US11729212B2) for a product that could revolutionize cybersecurity training. The tool, known as PhishER, is designed to create highly realistic fraudulent emails, with the goal of sharpening users' skills at identifying these online threats, without causing panic within the organization.

In the ever-expanding digital world, internet scams, particularly those using emails, are becoming increasingly common and sophisticated. These cyber-attacks can cost companies millions and lead to a loss of consumer trust. To counter this, KnowBe4 aims to help users identify scam emails before they cause damage.

PhishER's key function is to simulate phishing attacks by offering characteristics that make them look extremely truthful, while integrating elements that people would recognize as false. This provides a safe environment to learn and makes the training significantly more effective. The patent mentions examples such as using a company's logo, or the names of people who hold high ranks within an organization to simulate a sense of urgency or authenticity.

The illustrative figures included in the patent, ranging from FIG. 1A to FIG. 4, detail both existing network environments and those related to cloud computing. They also show the different phases of developing these deceptive emails and how they'd interact with existing technology.

One significant advantage of PhishER is the potential for boosting system performance and enhancing data security by consolidating servers in high-density rack systems. Grouping servers and storage systems together with top-tier system management tools can make for more efficient use of resources.

As exciting as this new development may be, it's paramount to remember that this is only a patent for now. Just because KnowBe4 has secured the rights to this design doesn't necessarily mean we will see it on the market. However, should it become a reality, it carries the potential to greatly fortify our defenses against cyber threats while providing an effective tool for organizational cybersecurity training.

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