Top 5 Things to Look for in an Anti-Phishing Software Solution

Top 5 Things to Look for in an Anti-Phishing Software Solution
6 minute read

Many organizations attempt to combat phishing through advanced email protection software and extensive employee training programs. While these measures can be effective to some degree, they are essentially band-aids that treat the symptoms rather than the underlying cause of phishing attacks. To truly neutralize a phishing campaign, the focus must shift to the domain hosting the malicious content.

When discussing anti-phishing solutions, specificity is crucial. The approach must extend beyond basic user awareness training and rudimentary keyword filtering. A robust anti-phishing software needs to target the source of phishing attacks: the domains themselves.

We specialize in comprehensive domain-based phishing protection. No two solutions are alike, and the more advanced the tool, the better it is at detecting a wider range of sophisticated threats. Given that phishing is one of the top three methods attackers use to infiltrate organizations, solutions that focus on domain-based protection are long overdue.

When looking for an anti-phishing software solution, here are five key elements to consider:


As the cybersecurity landscape evolves, threat actors are continually upping their game, increasingly masking their phishing sites with advanced cloaking techniques. This escalation necessitates that we remain not just vigilant, but consistently a step ahead.

Enter Anti-Cloaking Technology. This isn't a standard feature you'll find in every anti-phishing tool, so scrutinize your options carefully. Emerging at the cutting edge of cybersecurity, this technology is serves as a direct countermeasure to the latest trends in evasive tactics, (i.e. timing delays for content, geo-blocking, user agent filters, etc.) Its efficacy is evidenced by a plethora of rigorously vetted alerts. 

With anti-cloaking technology in your arsenal, your organization gains an unparalleled edge, capable of detecting otherwise elusive threats—even when every other system is performing optimally. This unique capability distinguishes next-generation anti-phishing solutions from their predecessors and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

No-Gaps Domain Coverage

Threat actors are like water; any crack in the wall can let them slip through. That's why focusing on the source of these attacks—the domains—is crucial. Hackers often impersonate trusted, legitimate domains to execute domain-based cyberattacks, including phishing campaigns. They may either register deceptive domains that look strikingly similar to legitimate ones, or use sophisticated techniques to cloak their malicious sites.

Unlike reactive solutions that only flag these domains once they're active, look for a solution which takes a more proactive stance. We identify and eliminate these threats at their origin by taking down the malicious URLs before they can even be used in a phishing campaign. Real-time domain monitoring operates across multiple platforms and covers not just the surface web but also the deep and dark web.

This approach leaves no stones unturned, ensuring that the root cause of the phishing problem is dealt with effectively. By eliminating malicious URLs at the source, we offer an extra layer of protection that goes beyond traditional detection methods.

Top-Notch Phishing Threat Intelligence

Phishing schemes are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Traditional anti-phishing technologies are falling behind, which is why advanced phishing threat intelligence is crucial. Proactive insights into emerging phishing tactics, especially when delivered in real time, allow organizations to stay ahead of evolving threats.

The ideal system will leverage both machine and human capabilities, scour the threatscape - deep and dark web, surface web, social media, news feeds, and more – for Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) and emerging threats, reporting back to you in real time. 

Lightning-Fast Response Times

Another indicator of an advanced anti-phishing solution is the time it takes from discovery to takedown; it should be fast. While a phishing attack might already be initiated, rapid response times will limit the damage inflicted.

Being able to respond while the attack is still underway allows for the swift and unexpected takedown of malicious domains. Even if you catch them after the fact, it's one less treacherous URL out there. That being said, exponentially less damage is done (to your enterprise primarily) when your solution is able to quickly detect and respond to a phishing attack in action. 

This is easier said than done. What makes a fast response time? A few things:

  • High-fidelity alerts (low false positives)
  • More escalated alerts
  • Autonomous response capabilities

While the first two factors are dependent on the intelligence and analysis engines of your solution, the third relies on technological horsepower: namely, AI/ML capabilities.

AI/ML Capabilities

There's simply too much data out there for human eyes to view. SOCs are stretched, and hours of combing traffic logs won’t cut it. An enterprise-ready anti-phishing solution must be equipped with AI/ML capabilities to keep up with the sheer volume of phishing threats today.

Last year, phishing attacks increased by 61%, according to The State of Phishing 2022 report by SlashNext. Concurrently, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) noted its highest numbers ever recorded: 3 million phishing attacks in Q3 of 2022. 

When companies are ingesting petabytes of traffic, AI/ML capabilities are needed to force-multiply teams to the point that they can actually get a handle on things. AI/ML features also enable organizations to spot emerging threats based on their behaviors, leveraging technologies such as natural language processing (NLP), optical character recognition (OCR), and image comparison to enhance rapid phishing protection and response.

  • Natural language processing detects the presence of negative sentiment within text, along with malicious links and digital scams. 
  • Optical character recognition can extract text from unstructured documents like images, screenshots, and even paper documents. 
  • Image comparison can spot subtle differences between two pictures, coming in handy when spotting logo knockoffs used as phishing bait.

The ZeroFox Anti-Phishing Solution

ZeroFox is the global leader in end-to-end domain phishing protection and response. You can't have one without the other; industry-leading protection means you're not only first to know, but you're first to act. We have the tools, the talent, and the time to do both. 

Whether you leverage our anti-phishing solution within your own SOC or get it managed, it provides benefits such as:

  • Minimize false positives
  • More escalated alerts
  • Faster response times

And it’s backed by an elite group of security analysts who know how to do the job.

The threat landscape is changing. Anti-phishing solutions can't just send a few tester emails and hope everyone gets it right. While still an essential part, anti-phishing tools now need to lean heavily on detecting baddies at the level of the domain. 

We have a range of advanced capabilities that allow us to do just that: 

  • Favicon Search - allows you to identify phishing URLs via a customer’s favicon, an increasingly high-value alert.
  • Improved Coverage for Subdomains - Our solution catches more malicious subdomains than our competitors, giving our customers higher quality alerts and resulting in more takedowns.
  • Customer Web Log Ingestion identifies URLs loading customer data onto phishing sites.

Along with more to be rolled out in the months to come. 

As the only unified external cybersecurity platform, ZeroFox is committed to securing against phishing threats from all angles. As the black hats up their game, so do we. 

Our AI-powered platform, coupled with our Global Disruption Network, identifies and blocks phishing, fraud campaigns, and malware-based attacks that plague your company. We go one step further by dismantling the infrastructure behind phishing campaigns and forcibly removing phishing sites from ISPs, search engines, and social media.

To learn more about how ZeroFox eliminates threats quickly and at scale with our unique in-house takedown capabilities, take a look at our universal takedown capabilities here

Tags: Phishing

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