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GigaOm Key Criteria for Evaluating Anti-Phishing Solutionsv4.0

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Anti-Phishing Sector Brief
  3. Decision Criteria Analysis
  4. Analyst’s Outlook
  5. About Paul Stringfellow

1. Executive Summary

Phishing remains the leading method used by cybercriminals to attempt to breach organizations. Successful phishing attacks lead to the loss of data, services, and money—or, worse, all three. Therefore, all prudent, risk-aware IT security leaders must make it a high priority to combat phishing attempts.

Phishing exploits focus on any platform where users communicate, so as businesses find new ways to share information, attackers are presented with an ever-widening attack surface. Today, phishing attempts will be made across channels including email, chat, messaging, productivity, collaboration, conferencing, and social media—and these are only the online electronic elements of attacks. We can also add to the list SMS text messaging, voice, and video-based attacks. Often, attackers use a mix of these channels in a single attack.

AI has increased the phishing risk because attackers use it to study a target’s online habits, enabling them to more accurately craft a phishing attempt that is likely to catch that target person off guard. Phishing is an issue all organizations must address, and it is essential to identify comprehensive phishing prevention tools that provide appropriate security, as any phishing breach is likely to have serious consequences.

While the threat has increased, the market has not stood still. Vendors continue to evolve their solutions. Increasingly, they are SaaS-based, reducing the complexity of deployment and maintenance. Often, deployment focuses on API integrations rather than redirection of communications to services or hardware. Solutions are designed to integrate across channels looking at multiple common threat vectors. Vendors continue to build capabilities to cover the ever-changing threat landscape, using threat intelligence, analytics, and AI to effectively identify threats, stop attacks, and educate and protect users from sophisticated threats.

Phishing is a primary attack vector that cannot be left unchecked. It continues to evolve rapidly, and diligent IT leaders across all organizations, large and small, must ensure protection remains adequate or else they will leave their organizations exposed.

Business Imperative
Phishing remains the most likely initial attack vector for any cybercriminal. The business impact of a user being successfully phished is significant.

It is essential, then, that IT leaders ensure that their defenses continue to evolve just as quickly as the threats do. This is a market that is mature, with well-established vendors dominating. The technology shift to SaaS-based deployment and API integration should help reduce the risk and effort required to deploy solutions and lessen the cost and effort required for long-term maintenance of the platform. Increasingly, solutions are integrating behind initial delivery into platforms such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, reducing the potential to impact workflows.

Many organizations’ operations teams and users will be familiar with phishing prevention solutions, as all are likely to have some phishing prevention tools already in place. This head start should reduce the friction for both end users and operations teams because they are, at the very least, familiar with the threat and the defensive approaches to dealing with it.

As the phishing threat grows, targeting more modes of communication more accurately, the likelihood increases that a user will be caught unaware and click on a suspect link or carry out detrimental actions if steps to reduce the risk are not taken. No IT leader can afford to underestimate the risk. While applying new approaches will take some effort and will come with a cost, the risk is too significant not to regularly review defenses and enhance them as needed.

Sector Adoption Score
To help executives and decision-makers assess the potential impact and value of an anti-phishing solution deployment to the business, this GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a structured assessment of the sector across five factors: benefit, maturity, urgency, impact, and effort. By scoring each factor based on how strongly it compels or deters adoption of an anti-phishing solution, we provide an overall Sector Adoption Score (Figure 1) of 4.4 out of 5, with 5 indicating the strongest possible recommendation to adopt. This indicates that an anti-phishing solution is a credible candidate for deployment and worthy of thoughtful consideration.

The factors contributing to the Sector Adoption Score for anti-phishing are explained in more detail in the Sector Brief section that follows.

Key Criteria for Evaluating Anti-Phishing Solutions

Sector Adoption Score







Figure 1. Sector Adoption Score for Anti-Phishing

This is the fourth year that GigaOm has reported on the anti-phishing space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This report builds on our previous analysis and considers how the market has evolved over the last year.

This GigaOm Key Criteria report highlights the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and nonfunctional requirements (business criteria) for selecting an effective anti-phishing solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those decision criteria. Together, these reports provide an overview of the market, identify leading anti-phishing offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.


The GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a detailed decision framework for IT and executive leadership assessing enterprise technologies. Each report defines relevant functional and nonfunctional aspects of solutions in a sector. The Key Criteria report informs the GigaOm Radar report, which provides a forward-looking assessment of vendor solutions in the sector.