Proofpoint jumps into security services fray

Messaging security product now available as service

Joining the trend of providing security technology as a service, Proofpoint on Tuesday announced a hosted version of its messaging-security offering.

Company officials say Proofpoint on Demand offers enterprises the same antispam, antivirus and e-mail policy enforcement, and outbound-content monitoring as the company's existing appliance and software, but without the management headache of having to run appliances or software in-house.

The company says it will distinguish itself in the expanding market for hosted messaging-security services -- currently including Postini (which Google last month announced it plans to acquire), Microsoft, Symantec, Trend Micro, McAfee, MessageLabs, and others -- by offering more flexible configurations. Customers of the new service will be able to mix and match components that include antispam, antivirus and zero-hour antivirus software; acceptable-use policy enforcement; outbound content filtering and others, the company says.

Traditionally, hosted e-mail security services have appealed more to small and midsize businesses -- which don't have the IT staff to manage an appliance or software in-house -- than to large enterprises that tend to prefer the control achieved with administering such systems themselves. That's beginning to change, says Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research.

"Some [enterprises] are finding it cheaper to use a hosted service; you get a lot more flexibility and you're not as locked into the vendor," Osterman says. In addition, many large companies are seeking a hybrid approach where they could, for example, run an e-mail security appliance at headquarters, where the bulk of the IT staff is, but deploy hosted services in smaller offices, he says.

This is why many messaging-security vendors now are offering their products as software, appliances or hosted services, as they attempt to cater to whichever method of delivery enterprises prefer. Proofpoint also sells a virtual version of its appliance; that is another trend in the messaging-security market.

The antispam features in Proofpoint's new service come from the company's MLX technology, which leverages reputation services and content filters to block image and traditional spam and phishing attacks, company officials say. For virus protection, customers can chose from products supplied by F-Secure or McAfee, while Proofpoint's own Zero-Hour Antivirus module blocks threats in the very early stages before signatures have been released, they say.

According to the company, Proofpoint on Demand's Content Compliance module helps administrators define and enforce acceptable use policies about file type, message size and message content for inbound and outbound messages. The Data Leak Prevention module prevents sensitive information from leaving an organization without authorization, and the Regulatory Compliance module uses dictionaries and smart identifiers to flag sensitive content and protect data covered by federal or industry regulations or corporate policies. Going one step further, the Digital Asset Security module uses machine-learning technology to analyze and classify sensitive information, then monitors outbound messages for that data, company officials say.

All modules are administered via Proofpoint's Web-based interface that offers a unified policy framework, generates customized reports and feeds status information, company officials say.

Proofpoint on Demand is available and is priced per user, per year, depending on which modules a customer chooses. For example, a company with 1,000 users that chooses spam and virus protection and the Content Compliance module would pay US$20,000 a year.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Cara Garretson

Network World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?