Urban One is a Maryland-based media conglomerate, and the largest African-American owned broadcasting company in the United States. Urban One’s mission is to be the most trusted source in the African-American community that informs, entertains and inspires audiences by providing culturally relevant integrated content through radio, television, and digital platforms.
Urban One’s employees were frequently being targeted by targeted email attacks that used social engineering and impersonation techniques to trick users and gain a foothold within the organization’s systems. These email scams - like VIP impersonation and vendor invoice fraud - were evading incumbent email security controls and endangering Urban One’s operations.
Luis Arzu, Vice President, Information Security at Urban One, said, “It’s always been very important to us to focus on email security because, all said and done, email is still the most common vector through which malicious actors are able to gain entry and then gain persistence. Email is also the vehicle through which criminals continue to target the most vulnerable part of our organization - our people.”
The Urban One team were also facing challenges with the incumbent Secure Email Gateway (SEG), finding it operationally complex to maintain and not effective at stopping targeted email attacks.
Luis said, “We’ve found that overly complex email security solutions serve to muddy the waters more than clear them. We’ve had experiences with email security solutions that haven’t delivered on their promises and take more work than they deliver value.”
“We were looking for an email security layer that was simple to operate, quickly onboarded users, and allowed our team to accurately discern good emails from bad ones without too much noise. We also wanted a solution that was actionable and took care of things on its own when human intervention wasn’t needed.”
Armorblox inbound email protection
Armorblox connects over APIs to Office 365 to provide highly effective protection against targeted email attacks like BEC, account takeover, impersonation, and vendor fraud. By using Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and other detection algorithms, Armorblox stops advanced email attacks from endangering Urban One employees and partners.
Emails are automatically classified under granular threat categories (e.g. payroll fraud, payment fraud, phish URL in mail body, email account compromise), eliminating the need for custom policy setup and upkeep. Armorblox also automatically remediates a vast majority of detected threats, based on remediation actions configured by the security team (e.g. delete, quarantine, lock user account).
Armorblox has helped Urban One meet its email security goals while also positively impacting its people and processes.
Improved protection against targeted email attacks
Armorblox provides highly effective protection against socially engineered email attacks targeted at Urban One’s employees. The vast majority of targeted email attacks are now automatically remediated (delete, quarantine) by leveraging Office 365 APIs, keeping employees safe without negatively affecting email availability or overloading the security team.
Luis said, “I appreciate the level of introspection provided in Armorblox threat analysis. Most SEGs look at email headers, signatures, and metadata, but we’ve found that targeted email attacks often hide their payloads within the email content. Armorblox is like a robot reader that inspects email content and removes the fuzziness from targeted email attack detection.”
Time savings frees up security team for other projects
Armorblox has simplified and automated large portions of email threat protection at Urban One. The platform is easy to use and provides quick time to value for the security team without interrupting their daily work. Suspicious emails are analyzed by Armorblox and automatically remediated across user mailboxes if they flag existing detection categories.
“When people ask me how I’m using Armorblox, my honest answer is I’m not using Armorblox that much! I don’t need to constantly log in to the platform to review and delete bad emails - Armorblox does most of that on its own. I was blown away seeing emails automatically being deleted across affected user mailboxes, including my own, without needing to jump through any hoops.”
Rich threat insights are provided for every email, helping the security team make quick and informed decisions whenever an email threat requires manual review. Moreover, Armorblox creates dynamic policies for threats that are manually remediated. These policies ensure that identical and similar threats are automatically remediated in the future, freeing up the security team’s time to tackle other key cybersecurity goals.
Looking towards the future, Luis said, “It’s likely that not everyone is going to come back to work from the office any time soon, if at all. We need to protect employees wherever they are, and while email is the clear starting point, we want to secure other means of communication like messaging and file-sharing applications with time. I’m delighted that this vision aligns with the Armorblox vision of protecting people wherever they choose to communicate. Urban One sees Armorblox as a long-term partner, and we’ve only just started!”