IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Proofpoint Launches People-Centric Attack Index to Identify Most Targeted Users

This new feature aims to help organizations tailor their security strategy to their most vulnerable employees. By ChannelPro

Proofpoint Inc. has added an Attack Index capability to Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection in a bid to give technicians and security specialists a people-centric view of an organization’s security posture. The new feature is designed to help administrators identify very attacked people (VAPs) within a company and then select policies and controls to better secure those users.

“One of the largest security industry misconceptions is that most cyberattacks target top executives and management,” said Ryan Kalember, senior vice president of cybersecurity strategy for Proofpoint, in prepared remarks. “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 organization with access to systems and processes that attackers can target to extract value. We’ve developed the industry’s first 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 best protect each individual user.”

When observing an organization’s attack profile, Proofpoint asserts, IT providers must balance the number of incoming threats with each threat’s severity. Users with the highest threat volume do not always 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 offers a weighted composite score of all threats sent to a given individual. 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

According to Proofpoint, organizations can investigate the threats targeting their organization 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 for credential theft, while roles that manage sensitive data are frequently targeted with trojans and keyloggers. With this visibility and insight, Proofpoint says, channel pros can tailor security policies, solutions, and training to help mitigate VAP risks and prioritize where and how to apply controls to protect those most at risk.

Proofpoint says the Attack Index also ranks individuals, groups, and the overall organization in ways that provide the documentation needed to discuss security and risk with stakeholders. Its threat severity scoring system highlights the most severe threats targeting the organization and the most targeted users. With a people-centric lens, MSPs and solution providers can indicate the need for enhanced security controls and security awareness training by identifying susceptible users that would directly benefit from increased protection.

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