Targeted Attack Protection


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Protect the security of your business from advanced threats using email attachments. Dynamically analyze and blocks malicious web pages and links, escaping antivirus and reputation filters and offering banking Trojans, Ransomware, and other threats.

If you tired of your current security solution

Geolance is a dynamic threat intelligence protection platform that uses advanced machine learning to dynamically analyze and block malicious URLs, web pages and links. It's the only solution on the market today that escapes antivirus and reputation filters, offering banking Trojans, Ransomware, and other threats.

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Related case studies

High-Tech Bridge Security Research Lab has discovered several vulnerabilities in the NetIQ Identity Manager product, formerly known as Centrify DirectControl. Attackers could exploit the most critical to gain unrestricted access (low privilege users included) to Windows Active Directory and LDAP services on all enterprise servers or workstations running the affected software.

Learn To Use Proofpoint TAP

Secure your organization from advanced zero-day threats using Targeted Attack Protection (TAP) from Proofpoint. The TAP threat dashboard enables organizations to prevent targeted attacks explicitly created to evade other defences by analyzing and blocking malicious attachments, links, and web pages in real-time.

Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection

TAP works together with any existing security team's solution - including next-generation endpoint protection products - to create a comprehensive prevention system that can analyze email attachments for targeted attacks while protecting users from known social engineering tactics such as phishing and spam emails.

Proofpoint TAP is included with a Proofpoint Essentials or higher subscription. It builds upon the same machine learning technology used in our consumer product suite - Brightmail® Discovery™ - providing enterprises additional control over content and messages while protecting users and networks from targeted attacks.

Proofpoint TAP

Proofpoint TAP works together with any existing security solution to create a comprehensive prevention system that can analyze email attachments for targeted attacks. By analyzing and blocking malicious attachments, links, and web pages in real-time, TAP enables organizations to prevent advanced known and unknown threats targeting created to evade other defences. TAP works by integrating into your existing infrastructure (hardware or virtual) without requiring new hardware or appliances. No changes are required on your end; it's the same technology used in our consumer product suite - Brightmail® Discovery™ - providing enterprises additional control over content and messages while protecting users and networks from targeted attacks.

Learn how it works

Proofpoint TAP is the only part of Proofpoint Essentials that requires no configuration. In addition, it's fully automated - upon installation, it starts working immediately to protect your organization from targeted attacks while continuing to work with all existing security solutions.

TAP uses machine learning technology to analyze email attachments for known and unknown targeted attacks by utilizing a library of more than 1 million signatures covering all major threat vectors, including fileless malware, phishing, spam, fake accounts, and domains., TAP continuously evolves as new threats emerge, requiring no further update or maintenance from Proofpoint.

Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection – Extraordinary Value

For organizations looking to extend their current security investments into a complete end-to-end solution that covers data loss prevention (DLP), anti-spam, and targeted attack protection for email, the Proofpoint Essentials - Targeted Attack Protection (TAP) is an extraordinary value. It combines a simple installation with a powerful security solution that covers critical areas of mail security, including targeted attack protection, phishing, social engineering protection, attachment checking, and more.

Proofpoint TAP offers

· Real-time analysis on attachments to identify unknown malware before it reaches your users

· Real-time analysis of links within messages to identify phishing attacks as they happen

· Real-time blocking of malicious web pages from being accessed by users or employees falling for common social engineering tactics such as phishing attacks

· Real-time blocking malicious domains from being created by attackers to send spam or launch targeted attack campaigns

· Support for existing security solutions, including your company's firewalls, antivirus, and secure email gateway web-scanning products

· Simple installation requiring no new hardware or appliances - runs on the same servers used by our consumer product suite (Brightmail® Discovery™) for highly efficient operation with minimal processing overhead

· Continuous updates without impacting operations; signatures are added to TAP continuously as new threats evolve. No administrative action is required from Proofpoint

Learn how Proofpoint TAP works

TAP works by analyzing attachments within emails, links within messages, and web pages accessed by employees. If TAP detects a potential threat, it immediately blocks the attack volume from reaching your users while allowing legitimate email through to their inboxes. TAP also sends an alert to administrators to take appropriate action if needed.

Proofpoint Essentials offers organizations looking for complete DLP, anti-spam, and targeted attack protection for email three robust solutions that work together to provide an unmatched level of URL defense against advanced threats.

Proofpoint Essentials – Targeted Attack Protection (TAP) provides real-time attachment checking for known and unknown malware.

Proofpoint Essentials – Data Loss Prevention (DLP) provides enhanced visibility over sensitive data leaving the organization via email - better than traditional DLP gateways.

Security advisory Kaseya VSA's

Security advisory Kaseya VSA's - Kaseya VSA is a solution that allows you to connect your entire IT infrastructure into one pane of glass. One single connection point for all your IT assets in any location or site, in the cloud, or hybrid models. The Kaseya VSA software connects in real-time to Microsoft Active Directory and other authentication providers allowing you to see who has access to what resources across all sites. In addition, it enables deep discovery capabilities with built-in asset management features like automated patch, hardware, and software inventory reporting (utilizing systems such as Dell DRAC APC UPS units).

Kaseya VSA also includes an email security option that provides file scanning/blocking on both outbound and inbound messages for attachments. In addition, it contains an integrated inbound scanner that performs deep scanning of inbound messages to determine if they contain viruses, malware, or other suspicious content.

The Kaseya VSA - Email Security is built on Proofpoint Essentials technology. The email security solution powered by 'Proofpoint Essentials' provides the following functionality: * Real-time analysis of inbound messages with dynamic heuristics * File attachment blocking, including executable files and scripts as well as compressed archives (RAR, ZIP) using the latest virus definitions as well as link protection based on a trusted web feed from Proofpoint Essentials * Ability to upload your file types which will either be blocked or allowed through based on policy configuration.


Email is one of the most popular and effective vectors for delivering malware today. While traditional antivirus cannot comprehensively protect against modern, targeted attacks making it to an inbox, a purpose-built solution can drastically reduce risk. Additionally, very attacked people are great for end-user awareness targeted training. Combined with Proofpoint Essentials – Data Loss Prevention, organizations have a powerful defence that reduces their overall attack surface while keeping employees productive.

Data shield joins Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA)

Proofpoint Essentials - Data Loss Prevention (DLP) joins Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA)

The "Threats to your organization" section at the end of the document provides information on email threats, including targeted attacks, which are not covered in detail in general security guidance weaponized documents. The purpose of this post is to provide more context and supplemental information for organizations concerned about targeted attacks. Understanding types of targeted attack agents: code-level and Web-based are two types of agents used in advanced targeted attacks. Code-level agents The vast majority of targeted attacks involve a cyber weapon—either an executable file or script—delivered via email. Many such files contain malware or malicious software; some include tools used to gain further access to the network (for example, to gather information about the corporate environment). A few represent non-malicious tools such as remote control programs, virtual machine hosts, and document formatting applications that could be useful for attackers during an operation. These files can range from simple Windows executables (EXE) that require no user interaction beyond opening them to activate and infect their victims to more complex self-extracting RAR archives where users must click through a series of prompts to activate and infect their victims. In targeted Proofpoint attack index cases, attackers use advanced tools to make malicious code hard to detect by antivirus software or static file analysis methods, including encrypting the payload using a variety of techniques and using polymorphic code. Once a cyber weapon is activated, it can do several things, including communicating with command-and-control (C2) servers, downloading additional files from those servers onto endpoints on the network, or exfiltrating data from those endpoints back to an attacker's server. Web agents are built into some malware as part of what is known as "drive-by download" attacks. Such attacks target popular web browser plugins such as Adobe Reader and Flash Player vulnerabilities. If the user visits a malicious website with an exploit for one of these vulnerabilities, malware is downloaded onto their computer. Such downloads often install additional components onto the victim's system, including tools to facilitate command-and-control and data exfiltration. Web agents can also deploy so-called "watering hole" attacks. In such attacks, attackers don't necessarily set out to infect each individual who visits a particular site; instead, they compromise a popular web page and embed JavaScript or other code that exploits vulnerabilities in commonly used browser plugins on visitors' computers without their knowledge. Once users visit this compromised site – which could be any site – the exploit delivers malware or installs additional components onto their endpoint as long as they have vulnerable browser plugins installed. Web-based agents can also be used to deliver more traditional phishing attacks that seek to steal sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, or credit card data by asking users to click on links in an email that take them to a malicious lookalike website where the user is prompted to enter their username and password. The link points back to the attackers' server, notifying it of a successful compromise and allowing attackers access to the stolen credentials via the web agent embedded in their malware.

The Difference Between Cybersecurity & Network Security

Although many network security appliances and software packages will claim to provide protection against targeted attacks or trace back an attack to its source, they should not be considered the first line of defence against such attacks. Network security products and services can stop traditional cyberattacks like unauthorized access, denial-of-service (DoS), and other types of malicious activity within the enterprise's network; however, these same tools don't address more advanced persistent threats (APTs) such as targeted attacks. That is because these tools focus on providing broad visibility into all traffic entering and leaving the network and what happens inside that network – including identifying hosts that might have been compromised – rather than focusing on specific activities that indicate signs of an active targeted attack in progress. It is also important to note that simply seeing an attack does not mean network security tools can block or prevent it from occurring. Network security products and services only become a line of defence against advanced persistent threat activity when paired with a set of incident response capabilities, including targeted attack monitoring and post-attack forensics. Enterprises need cybersecurity solutions that provide more than just visibility into the network along with better detection of known vulnerabilities; instead, they need protection against specific forms of cyberattacks such as zero-day exploits, polymorphic malware, and sophisticated social engineering techniques used by cybercriminals to deploy crimeware explicitly designed to compromise user endpoints on enterprise networks.

The power of Cybersecurity vs Network Security

The reason why targeted attacks are so effective

Targeted cyber-attacks are against specific individuals, businesses, or government agencies. The attackers usually select these individuals, groups, or organizations based on their ability to impact an organization or country's operations. Instead of infecting as many endpoints as possible, attackers only seek the endpoints with access to crucial information. For example, consider a nation-state whose national interests are threatened by its adversary; it might compromise the workstation of one executive in the adversary company with malware that is then used to spread throughout his home network and eventually reach critical systems such as regional command and control servers.

What makes them so successful is simple: human nature. Users do not always follow good security practices when handling email, browsing the web, or storing data on a workstation. Often protected users fall prey to fake emails asking for sensitive information. Even the most trained cyber security experts may fail to notice a targeted attack because it uses familiar methods and tools while making minor modifications to evade traditional security measures.

Symptoms of Targeted Attack

Some common symptoms that could point towards targeted attacks include:

1. Presence of an infected USB drive 

2. A sudden increase in unauthorized VPN usage by employees who usually do not use such connections

3. Employees leaving their computers unlocked when they leave

4. Usage of P2P file-sharing

5. Strangers accessing company servers without prior approval

6. New devices appearing on the network with no prior warning

7. Employees using devices without network access for long periods, only to have it reappear on the network after a day or so

Ways to protect a company from Targeted Attacks

Suppose you are interested in protecting your organization against targeted attacks. In that case, K2 Intelligence recommends working with a threat detection and response provider that offers a "human firewall" – a team available around the clock to monitor cyber activity and investigate potential threats across various data sources. When investigating suspicious activities that may indicate a targeted attack, human firewall analysts follow these steps:

1. Gather as much information as possible about the threat actor

2. Track down additional evidence by examining communications channels used by the attacker

3. Analyze data such as the attacker's IP addresses, email addresses, aliases, and phone numbers

4. Use tools such as social network analysis to map out the relationships between victims and attackers

Most importantly, organizations should establish policies for detecting targeted attacks so that employees know what warning signs they should be looking for there. These policies must also define how employees are expected to respond to potential threats. The organization must consider every piece of data available to assess the threat level accurately. Organizations can avoid wasting valuable time by studying their behaviour while under attack. For example, suppose a company knows which VPNs its employees often use on their home networks or when they usually check their email each day. In that case, it can use this information to match anomalous behaviour and detect a targeted attack.

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