HacWare wants you to hate email security a little less

Lets face it, email security is something a lot of people would rather think less about. When youre not deluged with a daily onslaught of phishing attacks trying to steal your passwords, youre also expected to dodge the simulated phishing emails sent by your own company all for the sake of checking a compliance box.
One security startup wants that to change. Tiffany Ricks founded HacWare in Dallas, Texas, in 2017 to help bring better cybersecurity awareness to small businesses without getting in the way of the day job.
Were trying to show them what they dont know about cybersecurity and educate them on that so they can get back to work, Ricks told TechCrunch, ahead of the companys participation in TechCrunchs Startup Battlefield.
Ricks, a former Pentagon contractor, has her roots as an ethical hacker. As a penetration tester, or red teamer, she would test the limits of a companys cybersecurity defenses by using a number of techniques, including social engineering attacks, which often involves tricking someone into turning over a password or access to a system.
It was just very easy to get into organizations by social engineering employees, said Ricks. But the existing offerings on the market, she said, werent up to the task of educating users at scale.
And so we built the product in-house, she said.
HacWare sits on a companys email server and uses machine learning to categorize and analyze each message for risk the same things you would look for in a phishing email, like suspicious links and attachments.
HacWare tries to identify the most at-risk users, like those working in finance and human resources, who are more vulnerable to business email compromise attacks that try to steal sensitive employee information. The system also uses automated simulated phishing attacks using the contents of whats in a users inbox already to send personalized phishing emails to test the user.
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