Oct 23, 2018

New cybersecurity business model: Pay-per-phish

Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Area 1 Security, a California-based anti-phishing cybersecurity firm, announced Tuesday it is introducing a "pay-per-phish" model under which customers only pay when Area 1 actually foils a phishing attempt. Each caught phish — a seemingly innocuous email that contains malicious software or attachments — will cost the customer $10.

The big picture: This year, global spending on cybersecurity products is expected to reach $114 billion, a 12.4% increase over last year, per Gartner, but companies are not seeing results from their investment. The pay-per-phish model tries to change the security market's incentives by structuring rates around outcomes.

Why it matters: Area 1 CEO Oren Falkowitz tells Axios he fears companies frustrated by security programs with high price tags and poor results could simply drop their guard, degrading collective security.

Driving the market: Many cybersecurity solutions charge blanket fees for protection even if they can't guarantee a better cybersecurity posture. Area 1's bet is that their model will encourage constant product improvement and increase its customers' confidence.

What's next: It remains to be seen if this business model is sustainable and whether other companies will follow suit.

By the numbers:

  • There were 264,483 email phishing attempts in the second quarter of this year reported to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, compared with 53,081 reported to the group just 5 years ago.
  • The $10 charge is per individual email that Area 1 manages to quarantine before it lands in a user's inbox.
  • But there's a limit to the payout: If one company is hit with a wave of phishing attempts that Area 1 successfully blocks, $10 per phish might become prohibitively expensive. As a result, Area 1 has placed a cap on payouts, Falkowitz says. This could make a difference in a worst case scenario.

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World coronavirus updates: Cases surge past 720,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now more than 720,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 33,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Sunday that his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 718,685 — Total deaths: 33,881 — Total recoveries: 149,076.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 139,675 — Total deaths: 2,436 — Total recoveries: 2,661.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump says his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Trump says peak coronavirus deaths in 2 weeks, extends shutdown

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump is extending his administration's "15 days to slow the spread" shutdown guidelines for an additional month in the face of mounting coronavirus infections and deaths and pressure from public health officials and governors.

Driving the news: With the original 15-day period that was announced March 16 about to end, officials around the country had been bracing for a premature call to return to normalcy from a president who's been venting lately that the prescription for containing the virus could be worse than the impacts of the virus itself.

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