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What is Proofpoint and How Does it Work?

proofpoint (1)

Proofpoint is a cybersecurity platform aimed to protect workers and data from advanced cybersecurity criminals that target email, social media and mobile devices.

Proofpoint’s email protection is a cloud-based solution that allows companies to easily filter their inbox and outbox. This software can identify and protect users from malware and threats both known and unknown, that not don’t malware software. This includes imposter emails, which aim to trick workers into sending money or sensitive business information, or business email compromise (BEC), also referred to as CEO Fraud, which is a fast-growing threat that can result in significant losses for a company. 

Proofpoint offers a wide variety of products, in addition to email protection to enhance a company’s security. These products include advanced threat protection, security awareness training, cloud security, archiving and compliance, information protection, digital risk protection, and premium security services.

Proofpoint features include:

Multi-layered threat protection

The email protection function uses multi-layered threat protection to accurately identify known and emerging threats, including malware.

Proofpoint utilizes signature-based detection to protect against known threats and employs dynamic reputation analysis for both local and global IP’s to filter which emails to accept and which to reject. The software analyzes the credibility of the sender by analyzing the sender/recipient relationship, headers and content of the email.

As part of their advanced threat protection, they offer Targeted Attack Protection (TAP), which works to detect, analyze and block potential threats before they ever reach an inbox, eliminating the possibility of the receiver to click the URL. Threats detected include advanced email threats which often come in the form of malicious attachments and URLs. TAP also comes with adaptive controls that isolate the riskiest URL clicks. Another feature of TAP is detecting potential risks and threats within cloud apps.

Proofpoint’s TAP feature doesn’t just work to catch threats, it researches each attack and looks for possible patterns and behaviors used, in order to catch the next threat both easier and faster.

Proofpoint helps companies to identify who are the most targeted individuals within the organization, so they can better protect them from threats.

Proofpoint scores threats from a scale of 0-1,000 based on the following factors: threat actor sophistication, spread and focus of attack targeting, type of attack and overall attack volume.

The score helps companies to understand the risk for both the individual user and the overall risk for the company, and the score helps to understand which threats to prioritize in terms of resolution.


Email classification using Proofpoint can be done in many languages. Emails will be divided in specific quarantine categories based on potential threat: spam, phishing, imposter email, malware, bulk email, and adult content.

The analysis function will identify graymail and mark those emails at a lower priority to limit inbox clutter. Users can “promote” emails to a higher priority or move emails to a lower priority.

Companies can customize the rules of what is considered “acceptable use” while using Proofpoint to better align with their specific needs.


Proofpoint has an advanced message tracing features a high-performance search engine which allows users to pinpoint hard to find log data.

Companies can get 60 real-time reports, which detail mail flow and trends. This allows companies to be proactive when addressing any potential issues and trends as they are identified. Users have the ability to create “safe” and block lists, lists of email senders they deem safe, and those they don’t want to receive.

Proofpoint also delivers intel about who your Very Attacked People (VAPs) are. The platform will inform security teams where sensitive information is potentially being exposed across email and the cloud. Companies will have the ability to lock down access to specific files in the cloud, prevent data loss and archive communications.

Proofpoint offers security awareness training, which helps users prepare for what a potential threat might look like. The training alerts users to the most recent phishing attacks and lures through their “Attack Spotlight Series”. Trainings are interactive and game based to keep users engaged with the content they’re receiving.

The platform also comes with a “PhishAlarm” button, which allows users to report suspicious messages.

The reporting tool alerts users to areas of potential susceptibility, so training can be tailored to address those areas.


In today’s rapidly changing security landscape, having a strong email gateway can make a huge impact. Proofpoint’s email solutions provide next-generation features to provide an extra layer of protection against advanced threats.

Do you have questions about Proofpoint or are looking into secure email gateway solutions?

Contact us today

Topics from this Article

Email Security, Email Archiving

Official Datashield account for blog content, news, announcements and more. The articles authored include a collaboration between internal staff, specifically the security operations and marketing team.

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