Corralling Email-Based Threats To Keep Them Out Of Users’ Mailboxes


When Agri-Marché started seeing more and more email threats in employees’ inboxes, the agricultural food company needed a solution that would work across five email domains, protect 300 mailboxes—and could be managed by its two-person email security team. The company manufactures animal feeds, operates swine and poultry breeding farms, and ships grain products. It focuses on high quality—in its products, in relationships with customers, and in the IT solutions it uses. That’s why it chose Proofpoint to increase visibility and improve prevention.

Régis Tremblay Lefrancois, IT Administrator at Agri-Marché, wanted a better way to detect and prevent threats from getting into users’ mailboxes. Even one cyber threat
in Agri-Marché’s environment is too many. And Lefrancois was all too aware that email is attackers’ tool of choice.

“Our previous email security solution couldn’t detect phishing attacks or malicious URLs and attachments,” he said. “We wanted something that would actively scan links and attachments and sandbox suspicious items so that we can react quickly to new threats.”

Lefrancois knew Proofpoint’s reputation, so he deployed Proofpoint Email Protection as a proof of concept to test its effectiveness against unwanted and malicious email. Agri-Marché also tested Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection (TAP) with Attachment Defense and URL Defense to protect users from advanced email-based threats. During the test, Proofpoint solutions monitored inbound mail ow and detected high numbers of viruses, malware, spam, bulk emails, and phishing attacks trying to steal personal credentials. At least 40% of Agri-Marché’s message volume was identified as threatening. The TAP solution rewrote a significant number of malicious URLs, detected PayPal and Apple phishing campaigns, and blocked users’ clicks to infected sites.


At the end of the Proofpoint trial, a competitive vendor approached Agri-Marché touting similar features at a fraction of the cost. What seemed like a good tradeoff between price and quality quickly turned out to be a hollow promise. After several weeks, the solution had yet to be deployed. Worse, Lefrancois received no responses to his support requests from the company.

“Although the other product’s features were similar, there were fewer options and less visibility,” Lefrancois said. “The product wasn’t customizable enough for our needs, and the support was not impressive, to say the least. We switched to Proofpoint immediately.”

Agri-Marché had worked with Proofpoint Professional Services during its proof of concept, which made it easy to switch back. Lefrancois informed users that email security was changing and simply activated the Proofpoint products. He said the entire process was easy and took only two or three days.


“Proofpoint quality is obvious,” Lefrancois said. “We immediately blocked more than 200 threats and eliminated our spoofed email issue. We’re detecting significantly more spam and viruses than we could with our original solution. Without Proofpoint, we would have been hit with at least five variants of ransomware alone.”


Lefrancois says that he and his colleague now know exactly what is filtered, how much, and the details about why those threats were blocked. They use TAP URL Defense data to continuously update the rewall blacklist.

“Proofpoint not only increased our security,” Lefrancois said. “It reduced the workload on our two-person team. It’s exceptionally effective. Just as important, the Proofpoint support team is competent and available if and when we need them.”


Agri-Marché is considering other Proofpoint capabilities to help prevent data leaks and prevent sensitive data from accidentally being sent through email. Lefrancois is enthusiastic about the improvements his team has seen and offers his advice to peers who are wrestling with email-based threats.

“Go with a cloud solution,” he said. “And trust the experience of the Proofpoint team. You won’t go wrong.”

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