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New service from Proofpoint prevents email data loss through AI

Cybersecurity firm Proofpoint Inc. today announced the general availability of Adaptive Email Data Loss Prevention, a service that automatically detects and prevents accidental and intentional data loss over email through the use of generative artificial intelligence.

The service combines Proofpoint’s threat and data loss protection technology and intelligence with Tessian Ltd.’s AI-powered behavioral and dynamic detection to provide organizations with comprehensive defense against human layer risks. Human layer risks refer to the risk of data loss incidents caused by the inadvertent or intentional actions of employees, such as sending sensitive information to the wrong recipient or mishandling email attachments.

Proofpoint argues that data loss over email is a widespread yet preventable problem, pointing to its 2024 Data Loss Landscape Report that found that 71% of information technology professionals attribute the main cause of data loss at their organization to careless employees, attaching the wrong files in an email, emailing sensitive data to a personal account, or sending emails to the wrong recipient. The report also found that about one-third of employees send emails to the wrong recipient each year, making it the simplest and most significant source of data loss.

The new Adaptive Email DLP service uses behavioral AI to automatically detect, prevent and mitigate accidental and intentional data loss in real time over email. In doing so, the service prevents breaches that are difficult to stop with traditional predefined DLP rules.

Adaptive Email DLP stops data breaches over email by understanding typical employee behavior through the analysis of hundreds of data points on every email and its attachments through relationship graphs, deep content inspection and behavioral AI. The service protects organizations’ sensitive data when the wrong recipient is auto-filled, or employees share the wrong attachment and also provides in-the-moment coaching to help users correct their mistakes and prevent sensitive data loss incidents.

“Data doesn’t lose itself – people lose it, careless employees mishandle it, malicious users walk out the door with it and compromised accounts are hijacked to steal it,” said Ryan Kalember, chief strategy officer at Proofpoint. “Rules-based DLP systems are a critical part of every company’s security program, but they can only catch predefined risks, making them blind to many data loss incidents.”

Kalember added that “Adaptive Email DLP takes a behavioral AI-based approach to catch what rules-based DLP systems miss and help organizations reduce human risk.”

Image: Proofpoint

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