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Proofpoint launches feature to identify most targeted users

13 Dec 2018
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Cybersecurity and compliance company Proofpoint has announced the availability of Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection’s (TAP) Attack Index capability, a solution that provides security teams with a people-centric view into their organisation’s security posture.

With Proofpoint’s Attack Index, security administrators gain the unique ability to identify the very attacked people (VAPs) within their company and select policies and controls to better secure those users.

“One of the largest security industry misconceptions is that most cyber attacks target top executives and management,” says Proofpoint cybersecurity strategy senior vice president Ryan Kalember.

“While these VIPs do receive attention from cybercriminals, our research and new Attack Index clearly demonstrate that very attacked people are often employees located deeper within an organisation with access to systems and processes that attackers can target to extract value.

“We’ve developed a people-centric Attack Index to help our customers identify their most targeted people, understand the spectrum of attacks targeting each employee, and create a tailored security approach to protect each individual user.”

When observing an organisation’s attack profile, security teams must balance the number of incoming threats with each threat’s severity.

Users with the highest threat volume do not always represent the users that pose the most risk. Likewise, the lowest threat volume does not always equal the lowest risk as highly targeted threats are often more dangerous than widespread threat campaigns.

Proofpoint’s Attack Index is a weighted composite score of all threats sent to an individual in an organisation.

It scores threats on a scale of 0-1,000 based on four key factors:

  • Cybercriminal sophistication
  • Spread and focus of attack targeting
  • Attack type
  • Overall attack volume 

Organisations can now investigate the threats targeting their organisation to better understand the risks users face based on their role, duties, and access.

For example, roles with high levels of access are often targeted with credential theft while roles that manage sensitive data are frequently targeted with trojans and keyloggers.

With this visibility and insight, security teams can tailor their security policies, solutions, and training to help mitigate their VAP risk and prioritise where and how to apply controls to protect those most at risk.

Proofpoint’s Attack Index also ranks individuals, groups and the overall organisation, to provide security teams with the documentation necessary to discuss security and risk with their stakeholders.

Its threat severity scoring system highlights the most severe threats targeting the organisation and the most targeted users.

With a people-centric lens, security teams can clearly indicate the need for enhanced security controls and security awareness training by identifying their most susceptible users that would directly benefit from increased protection.