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The Best Proofpoint Essentials Alternatives

Cyber-threats such as ransomware are creating shock waves in organizations the world over; however, the impacts of this type of attack look set to spiral further. Estimates predict the cost of ransomware attacks on businesses will reach $265 billion by 2031.

Ransomware is a type of attack that often begins by focusing on the human operator associated with an organization, aka, an employee, consultant, or supplier. Phishing emails, or infected online ads or websites, are typical starting points that introduce a ransomware infection.

Secure email gateways have been developed to close the door to phishing and other web-borne attacks. However, there are several such email protection platforms on the market and choosing which is the best one for your organization can be tricky.

 

Proofpoint Essentials is an example of one such secure email gateway. This guide helps you to make the right choice of email protection for your organization by comparing three of the best alternatives to Proofpoint Essentials:

  • Barracuda Essentials
  • Mimecast Secure Email Gateway
  • SpamTitan

 

Proofpoint Essentials

Proofpoint Essentials is an email protection solution that has been specifically designed for use by an SMB. The platform is cloud-based and delivers email security, anti-phishing, email encryption, and archiving for emails. Like many other email security gateway products, Proofpoint Essentials uses layers of security, including:

  • Spam and phishing detection
  • URL analysis
  • Anti-virus
  • Email filtering
  • Email archiving
  • Outbound and inbound email monitoring
  • Threat intelligence using machine learning technology
  • Social media account protection  
  • Integration with Office 365

 

Pros and Cons of Proofpoint Essentials

Proofpoint Essentials has both positive and negative aspects in the application, deployment, and use of the solution. When choosing an email security gateway, the trick is to balance the pros and cons.

Proofpoint Essentials pros and cons include:

Pros

  • Integration with Office 365 as well as Azure AD and LDAP
  • Rule definition is easy with a good UI
  • Price-point meets the cost-effective needs of an SMB
  • Good anti-phishing catch rate
  • Multi-layered protection 
  • Controls work on a per-user/per role basis
  • Business continuity offering includes an emergency inbox if the email environment is inaccessible
  • Machine learning used to catch new threats

 

Cons

A review of the user ratings of Proofpoint Essentials reveals a few areas of the product that could be improved:

  • Ease of use and administration setup could be improved
  • Some MSPs were concerned about over-charging as Proofpoint licensing models are not granular
  • False positives and false negatives have been reported with legitimate emails placed in quarantine
  • Data loss prevention (DLP) is weak
  • No on-premise deployment

 

Choices, choices...Proofpoint competitors

Your evaluation of the alternative email protection gateways on the market should come down to the following key evaluation points:

  • What are the features of the solution, and do they match your requirements?
  • Is the email security gateway easy to use?
  • Does it provide comprehensive and advanced threat detection functionality?
  • Is the system easy to administer?
  • Is deployment and updating of the gateway automated and easy?

The deployment and configuration of companywide solutions such as email protection are potentially a long-term commitment. So, you must make sure that the choice you make fits your short- and longer-term needs.

Some alternatives to Proofpoint that you should look to review are:

 

Proofpoint Essentials vs. Barracuda Essentials?

Barracuda Essentials for email is a cloud-based spam filter used to protect against web-borne email threats.

The solution is described as an ‘all-in-one’ solution offering:

  • Email continuity
  • Encryption
  • Data leakage protection
  • Archiving

 

Differentiators between Barracuda Essentials and Proofpoint Essentials include:

  • Barracuda also has poor granularity and control of licensing for MSPs (Managed Service Providers)
  • Barracuda is less cost-effective compared to Proofpoint
  • Support is generally poorer than Proofpoint

 

Proofpoint Essentials vs. Mimecast Secure Email Gateway

Mimecast Secure Email Gateway is designed for larger enterprises, although the solution can be used by an SMB. The Mimecast Secure Email Gateway provides:

  • Protection for all cloud or perimeter-based inbound emails
  • Delivery of email protection is cloud-based
  • Real-time threat analysis
  • Protection against malware, phishing, and other web-borne threats
  • Offers outbound email data loss prevention (DLP) to stop sensitive data from leaving an organization

 

Differentiators between Mimecast and Proofpoint Essentials include:

  • Mimecast, is an enterprise-level product that supports Complex Routing Scenarios for multiple mail servers
  • Mimecast only holds emails for instant replay for 14-days, Proofpoint holds emails for 30-days
  • Mimecast email encryption may be a separate cost to enable
  • Mimecast offers a more advanced and integrated DMARC service than Proofpoint

 

Proofpoint Essentials vs. SpamTitan

SpamTitan leads the way in granular, robust, and flexible email protection. The cloud-based solution is designed for all sizes of enterprises and can be delivered by an MSP. The SpamTitan email gateway is multi-layered, utilizing smart AI-enabled protection to prevent web-borne threats.

Ease of use and administration are part of the design remit of SpamTitan. As a market leader, SpamTitan has a 99.9% phishing Catch Rate record.

 

Features of SpamTitan include:

  • Easy deployment and configuration
  • Automatic updates pushed out to end-user devices
  • Inbound and outbound email protection
  • Easy to administer using a central web console
  • Supports existing identity systems and robust authentication
  • No hardware or endpoint software needed, fully cloud-based
  • Collaborative spam fingerprint checks based on “community intelligence“ from over 650 million users
  • Advanced threat detection using AI
  • Multi-layered email protection to prevent modern threats
  • DMARC email authentication

 

SpamTitan, as compared to Proofpoint Essentials:

  • SpamTitan is overall a simpler to use and administer solution than Proofpoint Essentials
  • Proofpoint is generally a more complicated product to set up, with areas such as access management and DLP rules being more complex to configure than SpamTitan.
  • SpamTitan’s email quarantine rules are easier and more effective to use
  • SpamTitan places more emphasis on advanced threat intelligence than Proofpoint who focus more on anti-malware

 

The best option: SpamTitan

After spending time evaluating each secure email gateway it is time to reflect on which product has, overall, the best-fit features.

One of the key differentiators between Proofpoint Essentials and SpamTitan is the attention given to the evolving threat landscape. New methods of phishing come along constantly, and a solution must be able to deal with these, in real-time.

A robust and effective email security gateway must handle modern-day threats that are complex and that can quickly change. By using an AI-driven, crowd-sourced approach to threat detection, SpamTitan can respond to threats as they happen.

This threat intelligence, however, needs to be backed up by an easy to administer and deploy solution. SpamTitan’s cloud-based system is perfect for MSP delivery and can ensure that deployment and automated updates make life easy for a busy IT department. 

Proofpoint Essentials has some excellent features, but it is outperformed across the key evaluation points by SpamTitan.

It is recommended that when you evaluate an email protection gateway that you do your homework, but also try out trials to ensure that the features fit your needs.

Sign up for a Free 14-Day Trial of SpamTitan.

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