University employs human behavioural conditioning techniques designed to build student and staff resilience to phishing
LONDON – February 13th, 2018 – Today, PhishMe®, the leading provider of human-focused phishing defence solutions, announced it has been selected by City, University of London to empower over 20,000 staff and students to be an active line of defence and source of attack intelligence in its fight against cybercrime. The university will deploy a dynamic suite of PhishMe solutions – PhishMe Simulator®, PhishMe Triage™ and PhishMe Reporter® – as part of a three-year programme.
Universities are being hit by hundreds of successful cyberattacks every year, with more than 1,152 intrusions into UK networks recorded in 2016-2017*. Massive, constantly changing populations of students and staff with many different endpoints are enough to tempt cybercriminals wanting to get their hands on valuable intellectual property and data that can be sold to the highest bidder. For City, improving defences against email-based phishing attacks, in particular, has formed a critical part of its overall strategy.
City engaged PhishMe in mid-2017, who ran a scenario during the annual freshers’ week to provide an indication of how susceptible they could be to phishing attacks. The results from the initial simulation showed a concerning susceptibility rate which was enough to convince the university that it needed PhishMe’s expertise in conditioning users to be more effective at identifying, reporting and mitigating phishing threats. PhishMe’s analytical data and one-touch reporting mechanism has been swiftly integrated into the university’s existing incident management system.
“Today, improving the security posture of the organisation can be found in the top two items of almost every CIO and CISO’s agendas,” says Claire Priestley, Director of Information Technology at City, University of London.
“When we launched the latest Information Security Strategy last year, PhishMe was an easy choice to augment our underpinning programme of information security initiatives. Our user community numbers at least 20,000 at any given time. The rapid growth in ransomware contained in phishing emails across all sectors last year necessitated a solution that would help us quickly and effectively build awareness, provide targeted training solutions and offer a one-touch reporting mechanism that integrated easily with our incident management system.”
“With access to cutting-edge research and users who have a high degree of susceptibility to phishing tactics, universities present a lucrative target for threat actors,” said Rohyt Belani, CEO & Co-Founder, PhishMe. “For staff, a constant stream of new students can make it difficult to pinpoint suspicious emails, while students are often not fully incorporated into the organizational infrastructure and will not have had basic awareness training which might have raised resilience to phishing attacks. Employing human-focused conditioning techniques is therefore an effective approach for educational institutions such as City, University of London, looking to dramatically improve detection and responses to potential security threats.”
For the university, the ability for users to report threats in real-time is just as important to improving their incident response efforts as the conditioning of those users to recognize real phishing threats as they appear.
Claire Priestley added: “Rapid reporting and identification means we can deliver a faster response, and the additional analytics provide invaluable data to help further develop our security intelligence and target our training support to the users that need it most, at the optimum times.”
PhishMe has experienced strong international growth over the past twelve months, with market expansion in Australia, Japan and across EMEA and META regions. Headquartered in Leesburg, Virginia, the company currently operates from 8 office world-wide offices including its EMEA headquarters and regional Phishing Defense Center in London. In the UK, PhishMe has seen strong demand for its human-focused anti-phishing solutions from organisations in the public sector, finance and education.
For more information on PhishMe’s security awareness training and phishing defence solutions, please visit https://phishme.com.
*Source: BBC News, http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-41160385
About City, University of London
City, University of London is a global higher education institution committed to academic excellence, with a focus on business and the professions and an enviable central London location.
City’s academic range is broadly-based with world-leading strengths in business; law; health sciences; mathematics; computer science; engineering; social sciences; and the arts including journalism and music.
City has around 19,500 students (35% at postgraduate level) from more than 150 countries and staff from over 75 countries.
In the last REF, City doubled the proportion of its total academic staff producing world-leading or internationally excellent research.
More than 130,000 former students from over 180 countries are members of the City Alumni Network.
The University’s history dates from 1894, with the foundation of the Northampton Institute on what is now the main part of City’s campus. In 1966, City was granted University status by Royal Charter and the Lord Mayor of London became its Chancellor. In September 2016, City joined the University of London federation and HRH the Princess Royal became City’s Chancellor.
Led by President, Professor Sir Paul Curran since 2010, City has made signiﬁcant investments in its academic staff, its estate and its infrastructure and continues to work towards realising its vision of being a leading global university: it has recently agreed a new Vision & Strategy 2026.
PhishMe is the leading provider of human-focused phishing defence solutions for organisations concerned about their susceptibility to today’s top attack vector — spear phishing. PhishMe’s intelligence-driven platform turns employees into an active line of defence by enabling them to identify, report and mitigate spear phishing, malware and drive-by threats. Our open approach ensures that PhishMe integrates easily into the security technology stack, demonstrating measurable results to help inform an organisation’s security decision-making process. PhishMe’s customers include the defence industrial base, energy, financial services, healthcare and manufacturing industries, as well as other Global 1000 entities that understand how changing user security behaviour will improve security, aid incident response and reduce the risk of compromise.