Proofpoint: Security, Compliance and the Cloud

February 26, 2013

Phishing Statistics 2013: New Proofpoint Report on "Longline" Phishing Attacks

Longline-phishing-industrial-phishing-whitepaperIn conjunction with our exhibit at the 2013 RSA Security conference, Proofpoint published a new report today that describes a new class of phishing attacks that the company has dubbed "Longline" phishing attacks.

Longlining, which is named after the industrial fishing practice of deploying miles-long fishing lines with thousands of individual hooks, combines successful spear phishing tactics with mass customization. Using these techniques, attackers are now able to rapidly deploy thousands of unique, malware laden messages that are largely undetectable to traditional signature and reputation-based security systems.

Worse, despite their scale, these mass customized phish were effective enough to trick more than 10 percent of recipients into clicking on malicious content capable of taking complete control of PCs and compromising corporate networks.

Proofpoint was able to trace and defeat these attacks for enterprises using Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection™, the company's recently introduced, big data protection solution. Download our new paper, Longline Phishing: Email-borne Threats, Cloud Computing, Big Data, and the Rise of Industrial Phishing Attacks to learn more about this new class of attacks, including:

  • The unique characteristics of longline phishing attacks
  • How those characteristics make longlining attacks extremely difficult for traditional email and perimeter security systems to detect and block
  • Details about how these attacks are carried out
  • Data about the alarming effectiveness of longline phishing attacks

And if you're at the RSA Conference this week, come visit us at booth 739 -- take our annual security survey and we'll give you one of our limited edition t-shirts (as usual, they are pretty cool for vendor swag).

January 25, 2013

Some Customer Insights on Improving eDiscovery Process Efficiency in the Cloud

In light of next week’s Legal Tech 2013 event in New York (stop by and see Proofpoint at booth 2607), we wanted to recap some of the really terrific insights from our recent web seminar on eDiscovery process efficiency.

In that webinar (see, "Improving eDiscovery Efficiency in a Cloud-based World"), our special guest speaker,  Jonathan Rudolph, attorney for medical device manufacturer C. R. Bard,  raised some very interesting points that might be useful for those heading to Legal Tech next week.

Jonathan was a key part of the team that selected and deployed Proofpoint Enterprise Archive at C. R. Bard and has a unique role in that he serves as both the eDiscovery manager within the IT organization, as well as an attorney within the legal department for this global manufacturer and marketer of medical products, based in New Jersey.

His role as IT-legal liason makes him uniquely qualified to discuss the challenges faced by organizations attempting to improve discovery processes, as well as offer best practices to get past common obstacles. Some of the key points he highlighted:

  • eDiscovery remains a matter of perspective, with organizations struggling without a common vocabulary and shared priorities. This gap is made more challenging by the fact that it limits the ability to create a shared view of the problem, which then contributes to a set of common priorities across IT and legal teams. Judges, however, remain above the internal fray and bring unpredictable knowledge (and comfort) of how, when, and where technology and eDiscovery processes intersect.
  • For some, today’s processes for identifying and collecting email for discovery can be like a rat maze. He notes that some archiving solutions even return different sets of search results for the same query at different times, leading to completely unpredictable (and clearly incomplete) discovery results. This type of problem not only consumes IT resources, but entails significant organizational risk and can result in multi-million dollar costs to have outside counsel filter through "junk" results.  There are no shortage of recent court rulings that highlight the potential impact (e.g., Samsung v. Apple, Hynix v. Rambus) and costs of "discovery gone wrong."
  • Many organizations cannot “break the monkey machine”. In his remarks, Jonathan refers to unbending organizational processes as "the monkey machine." The monkey machine has always done things a specific way, and has embedded that into the company's organizational culture and fabric. To "break the monkey machine," Jonthan argues that it's imperative to involve both the legal and IT departments  from the outset, and that it's helpful to have an individual who can “speak both languages.” Further, it's critical to be able to quantify savings delivered by any technology-enabled eDiscovery process improvement.
  • The goal of defensibility is a myth:  Defensibility as a goal often leads to reactivity – which provides a poor starting point and places the burden of persuasion with you, not your adversary. Companies are better served in moving toward a position of justifiability in order to better dictate the rules of the game.
  • Security in the cloud is an internal obstacle – that can be overcome. It is inevitable that IT will continue to look for opportunities to cut costs by moving to the cloud. Legal teams - who are often reluctant to embrace cloud-based approaches to eDiscovery - can be persuaded by showing them the advantages of strong service level agreements (SLAs) and security features (such as Proofpoint’s DoubleBlind Key Architecture) which leave data access and control decisions in the hands of legal decision makers – not cloud service administrators.

Using Proofpoint Enterprise Archive, Jonathan and the team at C. R. Bard have already realized the benefits of automating critical, early-stage discovery tasks. After using the system for 4 large matters, he is happy to report that the solution delivers as advertised and has already proven its ability to provide cost reduction and enable greater process efficiency.

To hear all of Jonathan's insights, watch the replay of "Improving eDiscovery Efficiency in a Cloud-based World."

And if you're in NY for Legal Tech next week, please stop by and meet us at booth 2607!

January 23, 2013

Proofpoint Winter 2013 Release Introduces Proofpoint Secure Share: Secure, Managed File Transfer for the Enterprise

In a press release issued today, Proofpoint announced its Winter 2013 release, which includes updates to our entire suite of cloud-based enterprise security and compliance solutions. One of the highlights of the latest release is a new cloud solution for securely transferring large or sensitive files, Proofpoint Secure Share.

Proofpoint Secure Share provides enhanced security and administrative control over traditional file transfer methods, existing on-premises solutions, and public cloud file sharing services. It leverages the advanced data loss prevention features of Proofpoint Enterprise Privacy to automatically enforce DLP rules such as blocking or encrypting sensitive content.

For a quick overview of the capabilities of Proofpoint Secure Share, including the end-user experience, administrative interface and data loss prevention features, check out this brief video demonstration:

In addition to the new secure file transfer capabilities, the Winter 2013 release includes enhancements across our cloud-based threat protection (Proofpoint Enterprise Protection, Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection), archiving (Proofpoint Enterprise Archive), and governance (Proofpoint Enterprise Archive Content Collection option) solutions.

In our next live web seminar, File Sharing: Getting Data Control Without Frustrating Your Enterprise Users, we'll be taking a closer look at Proofpoint Secure Share and the issues involved in enabling business users to share large files in an easy, secure and compliant way.

December 18, 2012

Gartner 2012 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving: Proofpoint One of Three Leaders

Gartner-Email-Archiving-Magic-Quadrant-Enterprise-Information-Archiving-2012New for December 2012, industry analyst firm Gartner has published its Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving. This report provides a detailed overview of the Enterprise Information Archiving (EIA) market and evaluates he key vendors based on their completeness of vision and ability to execute.

In the new report, Proofpoint is one of only three vendors positioned as Leaders.

As usual, Proofpoint has licensed a reprint of the new EIA magic quadrant and you can read the full report, compliments of Proofpoint, at the following URL:

Writing in the 2012 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving, Gartner analysts Sheila Childs, Kenneth Chin, Debra Logan and Alan Dayley note that, "The EIA market is healthy and growing rapidly. EIA has emerged as a commonly used technology underpinning for higher-level use cases supporting information governance, e-discovery, historical preservation of data and application retirement."

In addition to a comparison of the various archiving vendors and their solutions, the report also highlights several key trends in the enterprise information archiving market, including:

Increasing adoption of cloud-based archiving: The analysts write, "Archiving as a service (aka cloud archiving) has rapidly surpassed on-premises archiving as the preferred deployment model for most organizations."

Growing importance of information governance as an important business driver: Gartner says, "Broader information governance concerns (regulatory compliance, business-focused retention and deletion of data, and managing aging data based on a clear understanding of its value) are beginning to surpass e-discovery as the primary driver for deploying EIA."

In-place management of legal holds is also highlighted as an important feature: Gartner says, "Another trend that is emerging as an offshoot of an organization's desire to better manage its archiving and e-discovery processes is in-place legal hold. This functionality offers the ability to identify data wherever it resides and either apply legal holds to the data without moving it to an archive or to move it to a temporary archive at that point."

There's a lot more terrific information about today's enterprise archiving market in this report. To read it now, follow the link above, or simply complete the mini form, below:

About the Magic Quadrant graphic:

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Proofpoint, Inc. 

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

December 12, 2012

Aon Corporation Video Case Study: Simplifying Archiving and eDiscovery in the Cloud with Proofpoint

We had the chance recently to speak with Rob Franch, Senior Director for Unified Collaboration & Communications at Aon Corporation about his company's use of the Proofpoint Enterprise Archive cloud-based archiving solution. Aon Corporation is a Fortune 500 provider of risk, reinsurance and human resources services.

In this video case study, Rob discusses the business issues that led Aon to standardize on Proofpoint Enterprise Archive to email and other information produced by more than 60,000 employees across 120 countries worldwide. The deployment of Proofpoint was part of Aon's transition from Lotus Notes to hosted Microsoft Exchange and, in the process, Rob and his team greatly streamlined Aon's archiving infrastructure — replacing a variety of legacy systems including IBM Common Store and Symantec Enterprise Vault.

In addition to describing how Aon solved its archiving and eDiscovery challenges, Rob also discusses regulatory compliance, supervision, the partnership between Proofpoint and Microsoft, and his enterprise's ongoing relationship with Proofpoint.

My thanks, once again, to Rob for taking the time to share his story with us and to Aon Corporation for allowing us to share it with you!


December 11, 2012

HIPAA Compliance and Security: New Whitepaper on Healthcare Compliance, Phishing and Mobile Security Concerns

Hipaa-phishing-mobile-wp-tThe new Proofpoint whitepaper, Meeting the Challenges of HIPAA Compliance, Phishing Attacks and Mobile Security discusses three of the most pressing IT security and compliance challenges facing healthcare organizations today.

Read this whitepaper for an update on HIPAA regulations and recent enforcement actions, new attack trends such as spear phishing and other forms of advanced targeted attacks that are putting confidential healthcare information at risk, and mobile/BYOD security and compliance issues in the healthcare space.

To download your free copy, follow the link above, or simply complete the mini form below:



December 03, 2012

Best Email Security Solutions 2013: Proofpoint is a Finalist in SC Magazine Reader Trust Awards, 2013

SC-Awards-2013-Finalist-Best-Email-Security-SolutionWe're honored once again to be finalists in SC Magazine's Readers Trust Awards. Proofpoint Enterprise Protection and Proofpoint Enterprise Privacy are finalists in the Reader Trust Awards category "Best Email Security Solution."

You can read more about this category and find the complete list of best email security solution finalists here, "Best Email Security Solution."

As usual, the winners of the annual SC Awards will be unveiled at an event held in conjunction with the RSA Security Conference which will be held at San Francisco's Moscone Center, February 25 through March 1, 2013. (If you'd like to attend the RSA Security Expo free of charge, see my previous blog post about how you can use Proofpoint's code FXE13PRF when you register.)

Proofpoint followers may recall that Proofpoint Enterprise Protection and Privacy won a similar category ("Best Email Content Management Solution") in 2012. If you'd like to learn more about why SC Magazine readers selected Proofpoint as the 2012 winner, you can register to download the award write-up here.

Thanks to our friends at SC Magazine for once again recognizing Proofpoint Enterprise as one of today's leading email security solutions!

November 27, 2012

Spear Phishing Attack Cause of Massive South Carolina Data Breach

Spear phishing cause of South Carolina Dept. of Revenue Data BreachIt will come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog, but it was revealed this week that a recent, massive data breach at the South Carolina Department of Revenue -- which exposed "millions of Social Security numbers, bank account information and thousands of credit and debit card numbers" according to SearchSecurity -- started with a phishing attack around mid-August 2012.

According to the official response report (South Carolina Department of Revenue, Public Incident Response Report, November 20, 2012),  "A malicious (phishing) email was sent to multiple Department of Revenue employees. At least one Department of Revenue user clicked on the embedded link, unwittingly executed malware, and became compromised. The malware likely stole the user’s username and password."

Later, the attacker logged into a remote access service using compromised user credentials and began an ongoing process of escalating privileges and installing malware on compromised servers. Potentially stolen information exfiltrated by the attacker totalled more than 74 Gigabytes of data.

SearchSecurity's coverage (see, "Phishing attack, stolen credentials sparked South Carolina breach") notes that, "In addition to the 3.8 million people whose data were exposed, the breach included information on 1.9 million dependents. It also included data on 699,900 businesses. Information on 3.3 million bank accounts were also stolen."

SC Magazine also has a good summary of this attack and the phishing attack that ulitmately lead to the release of confidential information (see, "S.C. tax breach began when employee fell for spear phish").

If you're interested in the methods and motives of today's advanced targeted attackers, you'll want to join us for our next live web seminar, "Targeted Hybrid Attacks on Organizations:
2012 & Beyond
," on Wednesday, December 5 (11 AM PT / 2 PM ET).

Forrester Research security analyst Rick Holland will be on hand to discuss the South Carolina breach as just the latest example of spear phishing-lead attacks, why organizations keep getting phished, and how to apply today's email security solutions to keep your enterprise's most valuable data secure.

Follow the link above to register, or simply complete the form below:

November 16, 2012

Stay Safe Online this Holiday Season: Proofpoint's Seven Simple Rules and New Advanced Targeted Attacks Webinar

Mugshot-Santa-Stay-Safe-Online-2012-Holiday-Season-ThreatsYes, the holiday season is approaching once again and along with holiday celebrations and shopping — especially "Cyber Monday" and "Black Friday" sales, which seem to start earlier every year — also comes an increase in online threats.

Over the past several years, Proofpoint security researchers have observed that the that the volume of attacks — including phishing email attacks, social media exploits and other types of malware attacks — typically increases during the holiday season. Many of these attacks are engineered to take advantage of the consumer mindset during the holidays.

Our October 2012 report on email security threats found that, on any given day, phishing attacks represented 10% to more than 30% of total unsolicited email volume and this trend has continued into the first part of  November.

So, as is traditional here at Proofpoint, I wanted to take a moment to remind you of our "Seven Simple Rules" for staying safe online during the busy holiday season. Read on for our updated tips for 2012 and feel free to share them with your friends, family and email users!

As usual, we also have a couple of early presents for you IT security types: December's live web seminar "Targeted Hybrid Attacks: 2012 and Beyond" will feature special guest Rick Holland, security analyst for Forrester Research. And you can read Rick's latest research, The Forrester Wave™: Email Content Security, Q4 2012, compliments of Proofpoint.

Proofpoint's Seven Simple Rules for Staying Safe Online During the Holidays

1. Be aware: Always view with suspicion any email with requests for personal IDs, financial information, user names or passwords. Your bank, online services, government agencies or legitimate online stores are extremely unlikely to ask you for this type of information via email. Consumers should also be suspicious of similar emails that appear to come from an employer or friend. Never send personal financial information such as credit card numbers and Social Security numbers via email. Today’s malicious emails and phishing attacks are disguised as communications from all sorts of organizations, including banks, money transfer services, government agencies, media outlets, and package delivery services.

2. Don’t click: If you receive a suspicious email, don’t click the links in the email or open file attachments from anything but 100 percent trusted sources. Links embedded in emails may take you to fraudulent sites that look similar or identical to the legitimate “spoofed” site. In addition to attempting to gather your personal login credentials, these phishing sites may also automatically install malicious software, without your knowledge. Increasingly, scammers are using link shortening services to disguise the true destinations of their links. Instead of clicking, open a browser and type the actual Web address for the site into the address bar. Alternatively, call the company using a phone number you already know.

3. Be secure: When you are shopping online, entering important information such as credit card numbers, or updating personal information, make sure you’re using a secure Web site. If you are on a secure Web server, the Web address will begin with “https://” instead of the usual “http://”. Most Web browsers also show an icon (such as Internet Explorer’s “padlock” icon) to indicate that the page you are viewing is secure.

4. Don’t fill out email forms: Never fill out forms within an email, especially those asking for personal information. Instead, visit the company’s actual Web site (using a Web address you already know) and ensure that the page you are using is secure before entering sensitive information.

5. Keep an eye on your accounts: Check the accuracy of your credit card and bank statements on a regular basis, especially during the busy holiday shopping season. Many scammers count on consumer inattention to get away with fraudulent charges. If you see anything suspicious, contact your financial institution immediately.

6. Get social media savvy: Email isn’t the only attack vector used by spammers and scammers. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are increasingly used to deliver the same kinds of scams and malicious links to unsuspecting users. Spammers and malware writers continue to distribute malicious, but convincing, emails that masquerade as notifications such as friend requests or message notifications. Keep all of the preceding tips in mind when using the latest communication tools.

7. Make security your first stop: If your holiday includes giving or receiving a new computer, mobile device or upgraded operating system, install a good anti-virus or Internet security solution before doing anything else online. Reputable vendors include F-Secure, McAfee and Symantec. There are also reputable free solutions such as Avast, so a lack of resources doesn't mean you have to go without security. Be extremely wary of Web pop-ups that offer “free security scans” or that inform you that your machine is infected with a virus. Such offers commonly lead to fraudulent anti-virus solutions that are actually malicious software.

Have a safe and happy holiday season, OK?


October 11, 2012

Proofpoint Recognized by Frost & Sullivan for Superiority in Email Content Security

Email-security-excellence-frost-sullivan-awardIndustry analysts Frost & Sullivan have honored Proofpoint with their 2012 Product Differentiation Excellence Award in Email Content Security. This award is based on the firm's recent research into best practices in the email security space.

In its evaluation, Frost & Sullivan examined all of today's email security vendors and solutions, including on-premises, virtual and cloud-based solutions, finding that Proofpoint had achieved the strongest product differentiation in the the past year.

Quoted in a news release, Frost & Sullivan network security analyst Ben Ramirez said, "Vendors in this market face  ever-evolving customer demands in terms of malware prevention, blocking targeted attacks and meeting government compliance and data protection  regulations. Proofpoint is at the forefront of meeting these challenges with innovative cloud-based solutions such as  Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection, which provides robust and unique protection against spear phishing, malware and targeted spam attacks against customers’ corporate email systems."

In the complete award write-up (which you can read by simply completing the form below), Frost & Sullivan also recognize Proofpoint for meeting the needs of specialized vertical markets, including financial services and healthcare. To read more, complete the form below:


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©2012 Proofpoint, Inc.
threat protection: Proofpoint Enterprise Protection compliance: Proofpoint Enterprise Privacy governance: Proofpoint Enterprise Archive secure communication: Proofpoint Encryption