Pre-Emptive Anti-Phishing Firm Area 1 Security Raises $25 Million

Redwood, California-based anti-phishing firm Area 1 Security has raised $25 million in a Series D funding round led by ForgePoint Capital and supported by existing investors Kleiner Perkins, Icon Ventures and Top Tier Capital. Area 1 describes itself as pre-emptive solution, able to detect attack attempts up to 24 days before the attack.

Area 1 Security claims to have stopped 42 million phish in 2019, and has thwarted $273 million in BEC fraud in the first five months of 2020. Technically, phishing and BEC are separate categories of scam (the former seeking to steal personal information and credentials with the latter seeking to steal money directly).Both, however, use somewhat similar largely email-based social engineering techniques.

There are many times more phishing attacks than BEC attacks; but the damage done to business is severe in both cases. The latest FBI/IC3 report has put the cost of BEC at approximately $1.7 billion in 2019 alone, while it is believed that 95% of breaches start with phishing. 

"Email security is fundamentally broken, with phishing attacks consistently breaching defenses, leading to significant business losses for organizations large and small. The simple fact is that 95 percent of breaches begin with a phish disguised as an innocuous email," comments CEO Patrick Sweeney. "By focusing on the earliest stages of an attack combined with the industry's leading small pattern analytics technology, Area 1 is uniquely able to bring preemption to email security. We stop phishing campaigns prior to them inflicting any damage."

Area 1 employs six primary techniques to find and block email scams before they can cause damage. The first is campaign source analytics. The firm crawls the entire web - ..