Phishing protection is big business. There are many providers out there using advanced technologies to protect companies of all sizes. And these technologies are needed, because as research has shown, phishing protection education alone will not protect your company.

Now it has come out that one of the larger email security firms, Cofense (formerly PhishMe), is partly owned by, wait for it, a Russian oligarch.

According to an article on Reuters this month, “U.S. cybersecurity firm Cofense Inc. said on Wednesday that buyout firm Pamplona Capital Management is seeking to sell its stake in the company following a year-long probe by U.S. national security regulators.”

The article further stated that, “Pamplona bought a minority stake in Cofense, which serves major corporations, in February 2018, when the company was known as PhishMe. Pamplona’s funds [have] been partly backed by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, who was on a February 2018 “oligarchs’ list” published by the U.S. Treasury Department.”

Pamplona declined to comment.

Well if you can’t trust your phishing protection provider who can you trust?

There are times when a small service provider is preferable to a larger one, like when you’re purchasing security services. Why is that? Because it’s much easier to understand who owns a small company compared to a large one. With small companies, it’s usually apparent who all the decision makers are. With larger corporations, you have to worry about management teams, board members and investors. And it only takes one to compromise the whole thing.

If you’re in the market for phishing protection services, consider a smaller service provider. One that’s been around for years with an excellent track record and superior customer service.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news:  U.S. Officials Pressure Russia-Linked Buyout Firm to Sell Stake in Cybersecurity Company (Paywall).

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