Data breaches are on the rise; hackers are finding new ways to access private information every day. In May 2017, 2.3 million phishing sites were created with the sole purpose of gaining unsuspecting online users’ private records and payment information. Phishing attacks are the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to convince individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
Medical schools and medical centers are often major targets of cyber-attacks. Studies done by IBM and Ponemon indicate that healthcare data breaches costs the US $6.2 billion annually and cost organizations $380 per compromised record, at more than 2.5 times the global average. Furthermore, 90% of all healthcare organizations suffered at least one data breach in the past two years with an average cost of $2.2 million per hack.
Phishing attacks that compromised sensitive patient data recently made headlines at medical schools UC Davis, Medical College of Wisconsin, Augusta University, University of Iowa, as well as hundreds of facilities including Network Health in Wisconsin and Baystate Health.
There are existing cybersecurity solutions against phishing attacks from reputable companies such as built-in protection from browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, through email sites like Outlook and Gmail, and through browser extensions like Webroot, BitDefender Traffic Light, and more, but these companies are only able to identify already known phishing sites using blacklist databases; they are not able to identify new phishing sites that are clicked on for the first time — these new sites are known as zero-day phishing websites.
Arun K. Buduri, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Pixm, based in Boston, realized with co-founder Chris Cleveland that these blacklists do little against zero-day phishing attacks. Pixm is backed by some well-known cybersecurity and former NSA leaders and has developed an AI computer-vision based technology to detect zero-day phishing attacks in real-time. Pixm’s AI anti-phishing software runs on all devices protecting users from these phishing attacks at the point of click. Buduri explains, “Whenever you open a phishing link in your browser, our software performs visual and spatial analysis, determines if it’s a phishing attack, and shuts it down inside your browser in real-time, all within one second.”
People are often fooled into logging in personal information on phishing sites because they look exactly the same as authorized and trusted domains. Pixm will immediately show the user a glaring red bar across the top of the webpage, informing the user of the cyberattack. “As soon as a page finishes loading, we take a screenshot of the webpage and run visual recognition algorithms to look for brand elements and login areas on the page. We verify if the website you are on is an authorized website of that brand. If it’s not, we immediately shut down the attack so you don’t accidentally type or submit any sensitive information to hackers.”
Pixm recently won the Boston Startup Challenge, organized by GSVLabs in partnership with Google, that attracted more than 200 applicants. Pixm was awarded $45,000 in non-dilutive funding, 6 months in their new downtown crossing office space, and access to various Fortune 500 companies and investors.
Buduri says Pixm’s vision is to embed its AI anti-phishing technology into all devices and protect enterprises, nations, people and their families from vicious zero-day phishing attacks.He plans plans to expand upon his vision and make Pixm’s cybersecurity technology accessible to everyone.
Leah D’Sa is a Junior studying Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College. She is currently a copyeditor for the school newspaper the Berkeley Beacon as well as Poetry Editor for the literary magazine the Emerson Review. She is looking to begin her career with health technology writing as she seeks to combine her lifelong love of writing and science.
Send this to a friend