Bechtle Secures Email with People- Centric Approach from Proofpoint

Technological edge and security partnership keeps IT giant ahead of threats


The Challenge

  • Securing email with a solution that could scale with the company’s growing size and complexity
  • Reducing costs and labor-intensive tools and processes
  • Managing a deluge of spam and advanced threats
  • Centralizing its approach to email security and consolidating vendors

The Solution

  • Proofpoint Email Protection
  • Targeted Attack Protection
  • Threat Response Auto-Pull

The Results

  • Millions of unwanted messages blocked each month—as much as 70% of all incoming email
  • Targeted threats stopped before they reach users, including malicious attachments and unsafe URLs
  • Regular health checks that help Bechtle’s IT team stay optimized and up to date
  • Integration that feeds Proofpoint threat data into Splunk SIEM for better prevention, detection and response
Proofpoint Customer Story Bechtle AG
Bechtle AG is one of the leading IT companies in Europe. Founded in 1983, the Neckarsulm, Germany, company employs more than 11,000 people around the world. It operates 75 data centers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and 24 e-commerce companies in 14 countries.

The company serves more than 70,000 customers from industry and trade, the public sector and the financial services markets. It offers a complete range of IT infrastructure and operational services, helping customers consolidate their IT vendors.

The Challenge

For email security, Bechtle was looking to do some vendor consolidation of its own. Developing and deploying a new solution was central to the company’s strategy for building a new data center. As a specialist in its field, Bechtle wanted to establish a modern, scalable and secure email platform that sets an industry standard.

Its existing open-source email infrastructure had been specially tailored for the tech giant. But was labor-intensive and difficult to manage, especially as Bechtle grew and expanded into new locations. At the same time, the company’s anti-spam tools were struggling to keep up with an influx of new users and growing volumes of email.

A massive new data center in Frankfurt was the perfect opportunity to consolidate its email security platform. The data center, designed to centralize its IT services across Germany and beyond, needed to be modern, scalable, secure and resilient.

“It was important to us that the solution, in addition to covering the standard components, should also be flexible enough to cover our special requirements such as different mail domains, a very complex mail routing system,” explains Matthias Weber, IT leader at Bechtle. “That was the starting point for the project.”

“Today, together with Proofpoint, we are always at the cutting edge of technology and ideally,
we stay one step ahead of the cyber criminals.”
Matthias Weber, IT leader at Bechtle

The Solution

Bechtle looked closely at its options, which included Proofpoint Email Protection and Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection (TAP). The company found Email Protection especially impressive because of its high flexibility. Its fully customizable policy management capability supports global-, group- and user-level control that meets the needs of even the most complex organizations. And the system’s self-service features allow employees to configure numerous email settings on their own. Users set their preferences for quarantine settings, safe and blocked senders lists and bulk email blocking, reducing IT administrative overhead.

TAP, the second core component of the Proofpoint solution, detects and analyzes advanced threats and blocks them before they reach the user’s inbox. It detects and stops attacks sent through malicious attachments and URLs. It stops zero-day threats, polymorphic malware, weaponized documents and a wide range of phishing attacks.

Weber said he was especially impressed by the TAP Dashboard, which gives his team a detailed overview of the threats targeting his users, including Trojans, ransomware and other attacks.

“We were convinced by the overall package,” he said. “Proofpoint’s technology ensures that we are always up to date with the latest technology and always equipped against the latest attacks.”

The solution’s flexibility, redundancy and scalability met the company’s needs. But the trust fostered by Proofpoint cybersecurity experts was what ultimately won him over, Weber added.

Once Bechtle chose Proofpoint, the two companies started working together to deploy the Proofpoint solution at the new data center. Initially, it ran parallel to the existing security tool. The test and activation phases ran smoothly, giving Weber’s team confidence that Proofpoint solution was ready to fully deploy.

Bechtle integrated Proofpoint with Splunk so that data from the TAP dashboard can be correlated with other data.

Weber said TAP had already proven its worth in the second half of 2019. That’s when the company faced a sustained attack campaign that used Emotet, a powerful malware strain that has caused million of dollars in damages to victims around the globe.

Soon after, Bechtle wanted to deal with evasive email threats that bypass many security tools with URLs that become harmful only after being delivered. To protect against this tactic, the company added Proofpoint Threat Response Auto-Pull (TRAP), which deletes these emails from users’ inboxes—along with any copies that have been forwarded to colleagues.’

The Results

Bechtle got the modern, scalable, secure and flexible email security solution it was looking for.

“Together with Proofpoint, we are always at the cutting edge of technology,” Weber said. “And ideally, we stay one step ahead of the cyber criminals.”

Bechtle has blocked millions of unwanted messages each month—about 70% of its total inbound email traffic. This includes new targeted threats (40% of these attachments and 60% URLs).

Bechtle also values the Proofpoint-Splunk integration, which helps paint a clearer picture of threats with more detailed alerts, richer forensics and a faster response.

But the Proofpoint solution isn’t just about technology. Bechtel calls its partnership with Proofpoint as one of the pillars of its success.

“The regular health checks offered and performed by Proofpoint have really proven their worth and are particularly popular with our technical team,” Weber says. “We find out where we stand, what can be optimized, and ensure that we always stay up to date.”

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