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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.

Go deeper

Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

National Guard chief: Pentagon's "unusual" Jan. 6 restrictions led to 3-hour delay

William Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, testified Wednesday that a three-hour delay in approval for National Guard assistance during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack was exacerbated by "unusual" restrictions on his authorities by Pentagon leadership.

Why it matters: Walker testified that if Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy had not prohibited him in a Jan. 5 memo from using the National Guard's "Quick Reaction Force" without authorization, he would have "immediately" sent troops to the Capitol after receiving a "frantic call" from then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund.

1 hour ago - World

U.S.-Iran nuclear diplomacy is going nowhere fast

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Iran's cool response to the Biden administration's push for diplomatic engagement, along with rising tensions in the region, makes clear that salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal may be far more difficult than many had anticipated.

The state of play: Both the U.S. and Iran have entered the diplomatic dance, but it seems to be moving in circles.

Venture capital firm Indie.vc is shutting down

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Indie.vc, an effort launched six years ago to invest small amounts in bootstrapped businesses, announced on Tuesday that it’s winding down.

Why it matters: Venture capital, despite being the money of innovation, is rarely innovative itself. Indie.vc was an effort to break out of the tedium, so its failure is de facto disappointing.