Proofpoint Sets New Industry Standard in Email Security with Adaptive Threat Protection Capabilities Across the Entire Email Delivery Chain

Human Centric Cyber Security

Customers now benefit from both new pre-delivery social engineering and link protection and post-delivery behavioral AI capabilities to stop the techniques threat actors depend on

SUNNYVALE, Calif. and RSA Conference 2024, SAN FRANCISCO May 6, 2024Proofpoint, Inc., a leading cybersecurity and compliance company, today unveiled two industry-first innovations that redefine email security with the most comprehensive and effective end-to-end email protection across the entire email delivery chain. Uniquely combining new pre-delivery, click-time, and post-delivery detections, Proofpoint’s enhanced core email security packages now include:

  • The industry’s first and only pre-delivery defence against both social engineering threats and malicious links and;

  • New adaptive email security capabilities, offering a fully integrated layer of behavioural AI-based defence post-delivery to stop targeted threats such as lateral internal phishing and advanced email fraud for the most at-risk employees—all while offering seamless API integration with Microsoft 365

Since 2016, the two most indispensable techniques used by threat actors have been text-based social engineering and URLs. Losses due to Business Email Compromise (BEC) have hit a record high of $2.9 billion according to the FBI 2023 Internet Crime Report, and it now tops the list of most significant cyber threats for CISOs. Every month, Proofpoint blocks over 66 million attempted BEC attacks targeting its customers. As attackers have also become more reliant on URLs, threat volume has surged; Proofpoint detects over 4.5 million unique malicious URLs daily, an increase of 119% in the last three years.

With both threats, speed kills; Proofpoint’s data set, spanning trillions of daily messages, shows that one in seven clicks on malicious URLs occurred within 60 seconds of the message hitting the inbox, underscoring the criticality of both pre- and post-delivery protection capabilities.

“The fragmentation across email security solutions allows threat actors to win, again and again. Organisations need a simple, unified and effective way to catch every threat, every time, every way a user may encounter it, using every form of detection,” said Darren Lee, executive vice-president and general manager, People Protection Group, Proofpoint. “Combined with our detection ensemble and email threat intelligence dataset—the largest and most advanced of its kind —our ability to offer end-to-end pre-delivery and adaptive email security sets a new bar for the industry.”

Industry-first Pre-delivery LLM-based Detection:

Proofpoint’s new semantic, AI-based detection innovations provide comprehensive protection before they can reach Microsoft 365 and Google Workplace inboxes and do harm. Leveraging NexusAI, Proofpoint’s proprietary AI engine built on trillions of data points, pre-delivery LLM-based detection enables organisations to stop payloadless social engineering threats such as advanced email fraud and malicious links.

Now part of Proofpoint’s detection ensemble across all its email security products, pre-delivery semantic analysis interprets a threat actor’s message intent regardless of word variation or language used. This optimizes Proofpoint’s NexusAI-based detection models by 10X, with close to nil additional processing time. Paired with Proofpoint’s recent release of the industry’s first pre-delivery suspicious URL hold and sandboxing capability, these enhancements create the most formidable set of defence-in-depth measures available for organisations to prevent attacks from reaching their targets.

Adaptive Email Security:

Proofpoint Adaptive Email Security is an Integrated Cloud Email Security (ICES) solution that delivers an additional layer of behavioural AI-based detection of advanced threats, including BEC, social engineering, and lateral phishing messages, offering seamless API integration with Microsoft 365. Adaptive Email Security can be applied to the riskiest users identified by Proofpoint’s Targeted Attack Protection, or other potential high value targets, as informed by Proofpoint’s unique human risk scoring.

Once deployed, Adaptive Email Security enriches all detections with easy-to-understand explanations about behavioural anomalies observed. It automatically quarantines high confidence threats, while delivering real-time coaching using contextual warning banners to alert users to the risks in social engineering and BEC-type emails that don’t contain an obvious malicious payload.

Adaptive Email Security is available on a rolling basis for select customers as part of Proofpoint’s standard email security packages for an organisation’s most at-risk employees.

Supporting Quotes:

  • “Proofpoint makes good on its mission to protect people and defend data…[Its] roadmap focuses on the threats posed to organisations by their suppliers with preemptive protection against compromised suppliers and BEC attempts via supplier impersonation or account takeover [...] Security and risk pros looking for a fully-loaded, infrastructure-and-platform-agnostic email security solution now committed to evolving with its customers should consider Proofpoint.” – Forrester, The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Email Security, Q2 2023, Jess Burn, June 12, 2023.

  • “Attackers will use GenAI. They’ve started with the creation of more seemingly authentic content, phishing lures and impersonating humans at scale. The uncertainty about how successfully they can leverage GenAI for more sophisticated attacks will require more flexible cybersecurity roadmaps.” Gartner, 4 Ways Generative AI Will Impact CISOs and Their Teams, D'Hoinne, Jeremy | Litan, Avivah | Firstbrook, Peter, June 29, 2023.  

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About Proofpoint, Inc. 

Proofpoint, Inc. is a leading cybersecurity and compliance company that protects organisations’ greatest assets and biggest risks: their people. With an integrated suite of cloud-based solutions, Proofpoint helps companies around the world stop targeted threats, safeguard their data, and make their users more resilient against cyber attacks. Leading organisations of all sizes, including 85 percent of the Fortune 100, rely on Proofpoint for people-centric security and compliance solutions that mitigate their most critical risks across email, the cloud, social media, and the web. More information is available at

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Proofpoint is a registered trademark or tradename of Proofpoint, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.