Email Security. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

Who’s Winning The Email Security War?

Avanan soars by focusing on the cloud

Eli Kirtman

Northport, N.Y. – Dec. 8, 2020

If there’s one thing black hat and white hat hackers can agree on, it’s that email is an adversary’s path of least resistance.

“There is something very unique about email,” says Gil Friedrich, founder and CEO at Avanan, a fledgling cybersecurity company in New York. “Anyone in the world can send anyone in your organization a message.” He asserts that email gives us power and creates risk because it allows us to communicate without pre-approval or trust, ultimately empowering cybercriminals to manipulate users.

More than 90 percent of successful hacks and data breaches are initiated by phishing scams. Friedrich suggests this is because a human is on the other side trying to replicate legitimate email behavior. It is one of the toughest problems for artificial intelligence, machine learning, and security vendors to solve.

Cybercrime TV: Gil Friedrich, founder & CEO at Avanan

A mission to protect the world’s inboxes

Securing the Cloud

Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that 50 percent of the world’s data will be stored in the cloud by 2025. We’re talking about 100 zettabytes of data across public clouds, government-owned clouds, private clouds, and cloud storage providers.

“This exponential data growth provides incalculable opportunities for cybercriminals because data is the building block of the digitized economy,” says Steve Morgan, founder of Cybersecurity Ventures and editor-in-chief at Cybercrime Magazine.

CISOs and security teams are burdened by conventional solutions that can’t adapt to the cloud to effectively prevent cyberattacks. And pressures continue to mount as employees produce, access, and share more data remotely through cloud apps during COVID-19.

We can’t ignore the massive growth of ransomware — the cybercriminal’s “go-to method of attack” — which is expected to hit a business every 11 seconds and cost the world $20 billion (USD) by 2021. The adversary is notorious for injecting ransomware into phishing emails to infect computers (and mobile devices) and locking up files, often threatening complete destruction of data unless the organization pays the ransom.

Even the cloud-based security solutions of the world’s largest email suppliers such as Microsoft fail to detect cyberattacks. Just in the past 24 hours (of writing this article) Avanan blocked 73,591 phishing attacks and 16,456 malware attacks missed by Microsoft ATP (Advanced Threat Protection), according to Avanan’s threat detection tracker, which is updated daily.


Friedrich empathizes with any CISOs’ plight around cyber threats. He encourages them to consider what will happen to the world after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fact is — whether we return to the office or not — our data lives in the cloud and we can’t depend on obsolete or suboptimal solutions to protect it.

Avanan, listed at No. 171 on the prestigious Deloitte 2020 Technology Fast 500 as the fastest-growing email security company in North America, swelled 686 percent over the past year. Their success, according to Friedrich, is driven by a combination of natural market growth, the rise in COVID-era cloud security threats, and a talented team dedicated to solving a very dangerous problem.

The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity.

Eli Kirtman is a freelance writer based in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

About Avanan 

Avanan is a cloud email security platform that pioneered and patented a new approach to prevent sophisticated attacks.

We use APIs to scan for phishing, malware, and data leakage in the line of communications traffic. This means we catch threats missed by Microsoft while adding a transparent layer of security for the entire suite and other collaboration tools like Slack.

To learn more, visit