URL Defense is becoming an important part of cyber security. With the rise in targeted phishing attacks, spam, malware, it has become more clear then ever that they all start with email.

What does URL Defense mean?

URL Defense is a technique used by several email security companies like Guardian Digital to help in the fight against malicious links in emails. UrlDefense scans incoming e-mail for known malicious hyperlinks and for attachments containing malware in order to rewrite and analyze destination URLs as they pass through your email gateway, providing real-time insight into whether a link is malicious or safe. Proofpoint's Targeted Attack Protection (TAP), Mimecast's URL Protect, and Microsoft's Safe Links all use similar forms of URL rewriting in their email filters. Guardian Digital's Cloud Email Security offers advance safe Link feature. Links in all email messages are evaluated using a variety of sophisticated techniques to determine the likelihood that they lead back to phishing or malware websites.

How does URL defense work?

If links can't be definitively classified as safe when the message is received, the URL is rewritten so that clicking it will cause URL Defense to evaluate the linked website a second time. If the link is safe, you will see no difference. If it is malicious, you will see a notification in your browser like the following:

URL defense software examines various factors including sender reputation, Email Velocity, Alexa Rankings, previous data gathered about other malicious links and more to determine if a URL is or is not safe. The destination website is also scrutinized for malicious code or redirects to other malicious sites. If a website is deemed harmful or fraudulent, the recipient is redirected to a block page.

With HTML email, you can view the destination of a link before clicking (by hovering over it, for example), but if you are doing so, you are probably not in the 10% who would click on a malicious link. Research reveals that 1 in 10 employees will click on a malicious link - and just one wrong click has the potential to shake an organization to its core with data theft, financial loss, reputation damage and significant downtime. URL defense is a solution for those who might click the link and without knowing where it actually leads, submit a password or download malicious spyware, ransomware or other executable software and lose control of their device entirely.

What does URL defense do?

Implementing URL defense technology helps safeguard businesses’ users, data and brand by eliminating the risk of a potentially disastrous “wrong click”. Ransomware, Targeted Phishing, drive-by downloads and more are all often initiated with a malicious link in email. URL defense stops this from happening no matter the device, because the link will be delivered rewritten no matter the email client used to access and click on the link.

Read an indepth article on: Email Security: Complete Guide on Email Security & Types of Email Threats