Proofpoint Introduces Cloud Computing Solution For Enhanced Spam Protection And Email Connection Management

Proofpoint Shield enterprise email security solution is designed for organizations that seek to leverage the benefits of a hybrid on-demand/on-premises deployment

February 4, 2009

5 Min Read


SUNNYVALE, Calif. " February 4, 2009 " Proofpoint, Inc. (, the leading provider of unified email security, archiving and data loss prevention solutions, today announced that it has broadened its hybrid email security offerings with the availability of Proofpoint Shield, the industry's first enterprise email security solution designed specifically for organizations that seek to leverage the benefits of a hybrid on-demand/on-premises deployment. Proofpoint Shield, a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution, defends against malicious and spammy email connections, dramatically reduces inbound spam volume and prevents denial-of-service and directory harvest attacks.

Proofpoint Shield provides the first line of defense against spam and malicious email connections "in the cloud"—sitting in front of appliances and other on-premises solutions—that reduces the volume of inbound email that must be processed by on-premises email security gateways by 80 to 90 percent. The new solution can be deployed in minutes in front of any on-premises secure email gateway appliance including the Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway as well as third-party solutions from Cisco (IronPort), McAfee (Secure Computing/CipherTrust), Symantec, Trend Micro and Tumbleweed.

"Rapid fluctuations in spam volume and the unpredictable nature of DOS and DHA attacks can result in massive spikes in email traffic," said Paul LaPorte, global solutions marketing manager for Proofpoint, Inc. "Proofpoint Shield eliminates the bulk of inbound spam and malicious connections and improves the efficiency, stability and effectiveness of an organization's downstream email infrastructure, without having to add additional security appliances or other components. It gives organizations a low total-cost-of-ownership way to remove the uncertainty around email volumes and increase the ROI from their existing email security infrastructure."

"Using Proofpoint Shield in the cloud, combined with our on-premises Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway appliances offered the ideal combination of scalability, control and effectiveness that Hampton City Schools required to protect our thousands of email users from spam and viruses," said Chris Martin, systems engineer for Hampton City Schools. "Proofpoint Shield will ensure that we can keep pace with even massive spikes in email volume without having to deploy new hardware infrastructure."

Proven Technology and Seamless Scalability with Zero Administration For the first time, Proofpoint Shield makes the power of Proofpoint MLX machine learning connection management and anti-spam features available to organizations that use any on-premises secure email gateway.

First, Proofpoint Shield uses Proofpoint Dynamic Reputation and netMLX technology to make intelligent decisions about whether to accept, throttle or reject incoming email connections. Accepted messages and their attachments are then scanned for blatant spam characteristics, using a high-performance version of the Proofpoint MLX anti-spam engine, which examines hundreds of thousands of structural and content attributes to accurately reject spam messages.

After processing, the remaining messages are delivered to the customer's on-premises email security gateway, which can apply additional anti-spam and anti-virus scanning, policy enforcement, email routing and other MTA features. Administrators retain full control of important routing, policy, reporting and end user functions delivered by their existing on-premises gateway.

Proofpoint Shield requires zero administration and there is no impact to end users. Hosted in the same world-class datacenters that power the Proofpoint on Demand family of SaaS email security solutions, Proofpoint Shield comes with Proofpoint's best-in-class performance guarantees including "five nines" availability and sub-minute email latency.

Designed for true, "lights out" operation and zero administration overhead, Proofpoint handles all deployment, 24x7 monitoring and operational support, updates and upgrades for Proofpoint Shield customers. Proofpoint Shield's email-based reports keep administrators informed about the status and actions of the system, including information on final connection and message disposition trends. Additionally, Proofpoint Shield provides valuable business continuity benefits during routine maintenance or upgrades of downstream email gateways, by providing 24 hour retention of queued mail and 48 hour retention of email logs. "Hybrid and hosted services continue to be a popular form factor for deploying messaging security solutions, and we expect this to be a high-growth area in the coming years," said Brian Burke, research manager for IDC's Security Products. "IDC believes a layered on-demand/on-premises architecture provides a higher degree of security and addresses more security requirements compared with a single deployment model. A recent IDC study (1) on messaging security found that 25% of North American organizations have already adopted a hybrid mix of on-premises and hosted messaging security services. Packaged solutions for hybrid email security, such as Proofpoint Shield, should be an attractive option for enterprises of any size."

Pricing and Availability Proofpoint Shield is available now. A one-year subscription to the Proofpoint Shield service including standard support, maintenance and updates starts at $1,500 per year. Multi-year discounts are available.

Learn More about Leveraging Cloud Computing to Maximize Security and Lower TCO Proofpoint solutions help enterprises reduce the risks and costs related to email, powered by the latest advances in cloud computing, virtualization and machine learning technology. To learn more about the new Proofpoint Shield solution and how SaaS and hybrid email security solutions provide enhanced security while greatly lowering total cost of ownership, register for the upcoming Proofpoint webinar, "Cloud Cover" for Maximum Email Security (to be held Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT) by visiting:

(1) IDC, Worldwide Messaging Security 2008"2012 Forecast and 2007 Vendor Shares: Forecast Looks Cloudy, Doc #213571. August 2008.

About Proofpoint, Inc. Proofpoint secures and improves enterprise email infrastructure with solutions for email security, archiving, encryption and data loss prevention. Proofpoint solutions defend against spam and viruses, prevent leaks of confidential and private information, encrypt sensitive emails and archive messages for retention, e-discovery and easier mailbox management. Proofpoint solutions can be deployed on-demand (SaaS), on-premises (appliance) or in a hybrid architecture for maximum flexibility and scalability. For more information, please visit

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