Personal Webmail Browsing

Why Personal Webmail and Browsing Is a Big Risk for Your Corporate Network

August 08, 2018
Mark Guntrip

For many organizations, corporate email is their number one threat vector, as they continue to deal with a seemingly never-ending stream of targeted malicious attachments and URLs. Email is so well suited to attacks that personal webmail, and personal browsing more generally, is now joining corporate email as a major source of compromised accounts and endpoints.

While organizations are protecting access to corporate email systems, employees that fall for a phishing attack through their personal webmail on their corporate laptop, which all too often is accessed off the corporate network and its security controls. Organizations may think that their decision comes down to a classic security vs. usability tradeoff:

Block — Certain website categories may be appropriate for blocking in the workplace (e.g., adult, gambling) however many companies do not have the culture to block ‘webmail’ and ’social media’ categories from their employees. 

Allow — Some organizations allow continued access to risk-prone web categories (e.g., webmail, social media), but this exposes them to unnecessary risk for the users and the organization. 

But there is a way to allow end users to access what they want while keeping corporate endpoints and credentials safe: web isolation. Using web or browser isolation, organizations can allow their end users to view web content and personal webmail without the associated risk to the business. Browser isolation, while enabling end users access to the services they desire, can ensure that any malicious content that may be present on those websites is unable to infect or impact the corporate device that is being used.  In addition, isolation ensures that users can be protected from known phishing sites that they may click on in their personal email.

The opposing forces that operate in many organizations – security concerns and employee experience – are well balanced with this approach. Gartner says, "By 2022, 25% of enterprises will adopt browser isolation techniques for some high-risk users and use cases, up from less than 1% in 2017". (Gartner Innovation Insight for Remote Browser Isolation (gated), Neil MacDonald, March 8, 2018).

Proofpoint TAP Isolation, for both personal webmail and browsing, part of the Proofpoint Advanced Email Security solution, allows freedom for employees, while preventing potential infection. Regarding Strategic Planning Assumptions, Neil MacDonald, Gartner VP Distinguished Analyst, wrote: “Through 2022, organizations that isolate high-risk internet browsing and access to URLs in email will experience a 70% reduction in attacks that compromise end-user systems.” (Gartner, Innovation Insight for Remote Browser Isolation (gated), Neil MacDonald, March 8, 2018).

Powered by the scale and scope of Proofpoint threat intelligence which is trusted over 60% of the Fortune 100 and leading organizations around the globe, Personal Webmail Defense and Personal Browsing Defense provides the next level of protection to augment existing corporate security capabilities and extend protection beyond the network perimeter. Proofpoint Isolation is 100% cloud-based making it quick to deploy and manage, requires no additional overhead, has no impact on end user experience, and is free to trial. 

How do I sign up?

If you are interested, please contact us or visit our product pages for TAP Isolation Personal Webmail Defense and Tap Isolation Personal Browsing Defense.