Information Technology
Mimecast vs. Proofpoint: Features, Pros & Cons

Mimecast vs. Proofpoint: Features, Pros & Cons

A simple email from ‘[email protected]’ and ‘[email protected]’ might not mean much to the average employee. After all, it does look alike. 

However, one is fake — ‘[email protected]’ and one is real ‘[email protected].’ Simple mistakes like this have contributed to a $50 billion scam business [*]. 

In instances like this, the question is simple: How do we prevent this?

Enterprise security solutions like Mimecast and Proofpoint seem to be the obvious answer — but how do you know which is right for your business? 

In this guide, we’ll do a comprehensive breakdown of each solution covering its key features, pros, cons, and suggest an even better solution. 

Mimecast vs. Proofpoint: A Summary

Check out the table below to compare Mimecast and Proofpoint. In-depth information about each platform’s features can be found below the table.

Threat ProtectionOffers strong protection against phishing, malware, and impersonation attacks. Uses multiple detection engines.Better threat intelligence and adaptive controls. Strong on stopping BEC (Business Email Compromise) and phishing.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP)Comprehensive DLP capabilities with predefined templates and policies.Advanced DLP features, including Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for data in images.
User ExperienceGenerally user-friendly interface. Easy access to quarantine and logs.Slightly more complex due to extensive features, but offers detailed insights and reporting.
IntegrationIntegrates well with multiple platforms, including Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.Strong integrations, especially robust in environments using other Proofpoint products.
ArchivingExcellent archiving solutions with easy retrieval and policy enforcement.Provides powerful archiving capabilities with superior eDiscovery and compliance tools.
EncryptionEmail encryption is straightforward but slightly less flexible than competitors.Highly flexible encryption based on policies, including automatic encryption based on content detection.
ScalabilityGood scalability, suitable for small to large enterprises.Highly scalable, works well in very large enterprise environments.
Support and ServicesGood customer support with comprehensive knowledge base and training resources.Great support with proactive threat notifications and a dedicated response team.
Spam DetectionVery effective at blocking spam with high accuracy.Extremely high in spam detection, leveraging advanced machine learning techniques.
Policy ManagementSimplified policy management suitable for most business needs.Highly detailed policy management tools tailored for complex organizational requirements.
CostCompetitive pricing but can be costly as add-ons accumulate.Generally higher cost, but justified by advanced features and superior protection.

Mimecast Overview

Mimecast was founded in 2003 by Peter Bauer and Neil Murray. The company was established with the goal of providing cloud-based email management for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office 365. Today, Mimecast serves over 38,000 organizations globally, indicating its strong presence in the email security market. 

What is Mimecast?

Mimecast is a cloud-based email management service that provides security, archiving, and continuity solutions designed to protect email systems from malware, spam, and data leakage while ensuring uptime and accessibility. 

Mimecast’s premium offering revolves around its Secure Email Gateway, which filters incoming and outgoing email to detect threats and prevent potentially harmful messages from reaching users’ inboxes. This gateway uses advanced detection engines that employ a combination of signature-based and behavioral analysis techniques to identify and block known and emerging threats.

Mimecast utilizes a multi-tenant cloud architecture on the backend, allowing it to serve multiple customers from a single instance of its software. This architecture is built on a scalable platform designed to ensure reliability and performance even under high-load conditions. 

Mimecast Key Features

Email Security

Mimecast’s Email Security is designed to protect organizations against various email threats. It features the following functionalities: 

  • Threat Protection. Mimecast uses multiple detection engines and various threat intelligence sources to identify and block malware, spam, phishing, and targeted attacks. 
  • URL Protection. The solution scans emails containing links in real-time, and also blocks malicious links. This protects users from accessing harmful websites that could be used for phishing or malware distribution. 
  • Attachment Protection. Mimecast employs a technology called “safe file conversion,” which converts potentially dangerous file attachments (like Word or PDF documents) into a safe format before reaching the user’s inbox.
    • Additionally, it uses sandboxing techniques to analyze attachments in a controlled environment to detect malicious behavior
  • Impersonation Protection. Techniques such as domain similarity checks, lookalike domain detection, and anomaly detection are used to identify and block email impersonation attempts, often used in spear-phishing attacks. 
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP). Mimecast provides robust DLP capabilities to prevent sensitive information from leaving the organization via email. It includes content control, secure messaging, and encryption to protect data in transit. 

Cloud Archive

Mimecast also offers a cloud archiving solution that supports compliance and e-discovery needs. This service stores emails in a secure, tamper-proof repository, ensuring that archived communications can be easily accessed and retrieved via a centralized interface. 

The archiving process is designed to be policy-driven, allowing organizations to set retention periods and deletion schedules that comply with various regulatory requirements. 

Security Awareness Training

The security awareness training on Mimecast is designed to educate employees about the various cybersecurity threats and best practices. 

To make this content interactive, Mimecast allows the content to be delivered in videos, quizzes, and games. In fact, organizations can simulate phishing attacks to test their employee awareness and preparedness. These simulations provide practical experience and feedback to help improve users’ ability to identify and respond to real-life phishing attempts. 

It also features detailed reporting tools that allow administrators to track participation, progress, and the effectiveness of training modules. These analytics provide insights into areas where employees may require additional training or where there are gaps in knowledge. 

Mimecast Pros

  • Advanced Email Protection. Mimecast provides robust security features that actively scan and block malicious emails, attachments, and URLs to protect against advanced threats like phishing and ransomware. 
  • Data Loss Protection. It offers comprehensive data loss prevention capabilities, ensuring sensitive information remains secure and complies with regulatory standards through content control and encryption. 
  • Employee Training. This includes targeted training modules to educate employees about cybersecurity best practices and threat recognition, reducing the risk of human error in email-related security breaches. 

Where Mimecast Falls Short

  • No Employee Monitoring Features. Mimecast does not provide tools for continuous monitoring of employee activities, which can be crucial for detecting insider threats and ensuring compliance with company policies. This lack makes it difficult for organizations to fully understand user behavior and potentially prevent security incidents proactively.
  • Limited Data Loss Prevention Features. Although Mimecast includes basic DLP capabilities, it does not offer the advanced features found in specialized DLP solutions. Organizations with complex data protection needs might find Mimecast’s DLP offerings insufficient for their specific requirements. 
  • Lacking Audit and Forensics Features. Mimecast’s capabilities in audit trails and forensic analysis are not as developed as some of its competitors. This limitation hinders an organization’s ability to conduct thorough investigations after a security breach and may complicate compliance with regulatory standards that require detailed reporting and analysis. 

Proofpoint Overview

Founded in 2002 in Sunnyvale, California, Proofpoint was established to focus on providing security and compliance solutions for large and mid-sized organizations. The company’s mission is to help organizations protect their data from advanced threats and compliance risks. 

What is Proofpoint?

Proofpoint is a cybersecurity provider that specializes in email protection, data loss prevention, and advanced threat solutions for organizations. 

Its flagship product, ‘Proofpoint Email Protection,’ uses machine learning and a suite of advanced detection techniques to identify and block threats such as malware, and spam before they reach users’ inboxes. The service utilizes dynamic reputation analysis of email senders, sandboxing technologies for attachment and URL analysis, and real-time threat intelligence feeds to evaluate and respond to threats promptly and accurately. 

Proofpoint Key Features

Insider Threat Management

Proofpoint’s Insider Threat Management (ITM) detects, investigates, and mitigates risks associated with the actions of insiders, whether they are unintentional or malicious. Below are some of the functionalities: 

  • Activity Monitoring. Proofpoint ITM monitors user activity across various platforms including email, cloud services, and endpoints. This monitoring captures all user actions to identify anomalous behavior that might indicate a threat, such as accessing or downloading sensitive information in unusually large quantities.
  • Data Exfiltration Detection. The system uses automated mechanisms to detect potential data exfiltration attempts, such as sending sensitive data to personal email accounts, uploading files to unauthorized cloud storage, or copying data to external USB drives.
  • Behavioral Analysis. Using advanced machine learning and behavioral analytics, Proofpoint ITM can establish a baseline of normal user behavior and flag deviations. This helps in early detection of potential insider threats before they cause significant damage.
  • Forensic Investigation. Detailed forensic data is available to enable thorough investigations into suspicious activities. This includes user activity logs, file movement tracking, and snapshots of user actions at specific times.
  • Alerts and Remediation. ITM provides real-time alerts and has automated response capabilities that can block actions or isolate devices if a serious threat is detected, thereby minimizing potential damage. 

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Proofpoint’s Data Loss Prevention focuses on safeguarding sensitive data and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. It offers capabilities such as:

  • Content Inspection. Proofpoint DLP inspects data in motion, at rest, and in use across email, endpoints, and cloud applications. It uses deep content analysis to detect sensitive information such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, or confidential corporate data.
  • Encryption and Blocking. When sensitive information is detected, Proofpoint can automatically encrypt emails or block the transfer of sensitive files, ensuring that data does not leave the organization in an unprotected format.
  • Policy Management. Administrators can create and enforce data protection policies based on regulatory compliance needs and organizational security policies. These policies are highly customizable and can be fine-tuned to address specific data protection requirements. 

Identity Protection

The Identity Protection on Proofpoint secures individuals’ identities within an organization by preventing credential theft and account takeover. 

It includes security functions such as:

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Proofpoint integrates MFA to ensure that any attempt to access sensitive resources requires multiple forms of verification, thereby reducing the risk of credential theft.
  • Email Fraud Defense. This includes mechanisms (such as DMARC) to verify the authenticity of emails, protecting users from phishing attacks that may attempt to steal credentials. 

Proofpoint Pros

  • Comprehensive Email Monitoring. Proofpoint offers extensive monitoring capabilities, ensuring real-time detection and response to threats. It analyzes inbound, outbound, and internal communications to identify suspicious behavior, using machine learning and signature-based detection methods. 
  • Email Continuity. In the event of an email server outage, Proofpoint provides uninterrupted email access, ensuring that business communication remains seamless and reliable. This service automatically activates during disruptions, maintaining email functionality without user intervention. 
  • Email Investigation Tools. Proofpoint equips organizations with advanced tools for deep investigation and analysis, enabling them to trace the source and impact of email-based security incidents efficiently. These tools offer detailed insights into attack vectors and timelines, supporting proactive defense strategies. They also facilitate rapid response and remediation by providing actionable intelligence and forensic data. 

Where Proofpoint Falls Short

Limited Security & Data Loss Prevention Features

Proofpoint, while known for its advanced email security and targeted attack protection, does not offer as extensive a range of data loss prevention (DLP) features compared to specialized DLP solutions. This limitation can be significant in environments where fine-grained control over data movement and sensitive information is critical, potentially leaving gaps in an organization’s overall data protection strategy. 

No User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) Features

Proofpoint does not include User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) capabilities, which are crucial for detecting anomalies and potential security threats based on deviations from normal user activities. The absence of UEBA means organizations might miss out on advanced analytics tools that help in identifying subtle, unusual activities that could indicate complex threats or insider threats. 

Limited Employee Monitoring Capabilities

While Proofpoint provides tools for monitoring communications and preventing data breaches, its solutions are not typically focused on comprehensive employee monitoring, such as tracking productivity or software usage. This limitation makes it less suitable for organizations that need detailed insights into employee behavior and performance across a wide range of computing environments. 

No Remote Desktop Control

Proofpoint does not offer remote desktop control features, which are essential for IT departments needing to access and troubleshoot remote machines directly. Without this capability, organizations might have to invest in additional remote support tools, complicating their IT infrastructure and potentially increasing response times to technical issues faced by remote employees. 

Related → The 8 Best Proofpoint Alternatives

Teramind: An Alternative to Mimecast & Proofpoint

We’re a little biased towards our software, but Teramind is an alternative to Mimecast and Proofpoint that offers comprehensive user activity monitoring and behavioral data loss prevention (DLP) across 15+ channels, not just email. 

Data Loss PreventionAdvanced DLP capabilities with real-time alerts and automated response options. Detailed policy and rule setting for data in-use, in-motion, and at-rest.Primarily focused on email and web security with basic DLP for email and data storage.Strong DLP features, particularly for email and cloud applications. Offers comprehensive visibility and control over data.
Email SecurityAdvanced email monitoring and security features including video captures video captures of any email activity like composing, sending, or file attachment via session playbackCore feature with advanced email security solutions including targeted threat protection, data leakage prevention, and encryption.Extensive email security features, including phishing detection, encryption, and fraud defense.
User Activity MonitoringExtensive monitoring capabilities including screen recording, real-time alerts, and detailed user activity logs.Limited to email-related activities.Primarily focused on threat detection rather than detailed user activity monitoring.
Threat Detection and ResponseComprehensive threat detection with automated response actions and detailed forensics.Advanced threat intelligence and adaptive network security, but less emphasis on endpoint responses.Robust threat detection with real-time response and detailed threat insights for email and network.
Compliance ManagementStrong compliance tools tailored to various regulations (HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GDPR) with automated reports and incident management.Compliance management mainly through data protection and secure email.Compliance features focused on regulatory requirements for email and cloud security.
User & Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA)Advanced UEBA with anomaly detection algorithms to identify potential security incidents.Limited to email and access patterns.Strong UBA capabilities, particularly in detecting compromised accounts and insider threats in email activities.

Teramind provides deep insights into user behavior, tracking actions across applications, websites, and networks to detect anomalies and potential insider threats. This broad surveillance capability enables organizations to enforce security policies more effectively and prevent data breaches from both external and internal threats.

In addition to email monitoring, which includes features for detecting and blocking malicious or unauthorized content, Teramind offers advanced tools for keystroke logging, screen recording, and real-time alerts. These tools are particularly useful for high-risk environments where strict compliance and operational integrity are crucial. 

The platform also supports automated behavior rules, which trigger actions or alerts based on predefined conditions, enhancing the system’s ability to respond to incidents without human intervention. 

Teramind’s technology runs on a powerful analytics engine that applies machine learning techniques to distinguish between normal and potentially harmful user behavior. This allows for more precise threat detection and reduces false positives, ensuring that security teams can focus on genuine risks. 

Furthermore, the platform’s flexible architecture can be deployed on-premises or as a cloud-based service, offering scalability and integration capabilities that align with various IT environments and business needs. 

Teramind Key Features

  • Email Monitoring. Teramind’s email monitoring capability can track both inbound and outbound messages, scrutinize attachments, and even flag content based on predefined keywords or patterns. This helps prevent data leaks and identify potential security breaches early on.
  • Comprehensive Employee Monitoring. Teramind provides a robust solution for monitoring employee activities across various platforms and devices. This feature not only tracks application and internet usage but also records keystrokes and takes screenshots at intervals or based on specific triggers. 
  • Productivity Tracking. With its productivity tracking feature, Teramind offers businesses the tools to measure and analyze employee performance and productivity. This feature allows for the setting of individual or team benchmarks and generates detailed reports that break down productivity metrics by employee, department, or the entire organization. 
  • Smart Rules & Automated Alerts. With this, administrators can set up custom rules that trigger automated actions or alerts when specific conditions are met, such as unauthorized access attempts or deviations from normal work patterns. 

How Teramind Stands Apart

Teramind is an employee monitoring solution as it offers a comprehensive suite of features that ensure robust protection against internal risks and optimize business processes. 

The platform’s unique approach integrates deep monitoring capabilities with proactive threat detection and behavioral analytics, making it an vital tool for businesses concerned about securing their sensitive data and streamlining their operations. 

Insider Threat Detection

Teramind excels at detecting potential insider threats through its monitoring systems that analyze user behavior and activities in real-time. By leveraging advanced algorithms and machine learning, Teramind identifies unusual patterns that may indicate malicious intent, such as sudden changes in file access patterns or unauthorized attempts to access sensitive information. 

This capability allows organizations to quickly respond to potential threats before they can escalate into serious security incidents. Furthermore, detailed logs and audit trails enable forensic analysis, helping organizations understand the context of incidents and improve their security posture over time. 

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Teramind’s Data Loss Prevention feature is designed to safeguard critical business information from both voluntary and involuntary leaks. The platform employs real-time content inspection, context-aware security policies, and detailed control over data transfer channels such as email, web forms, and cloud storage services. 

By applying strict rules on the handling of sensitive data, Teramind ensures that information does not leave the corporate environment without proper authorization. Additionally, its DLP capabilities are complemented by educational prompts to users when they violate policies, helping to reinforce security practices and prevent future incidents. 

UEBA (User and Entity Behavior Analytics)

Teramind’s implementation of UEBA enhances its security framework by focusing on advanced behavioral analytics to detect anomalous activities. This feature analyzes historical data to establish baseline normal behavior for each user and continuously monitors for deviations that could indicate potential security threats. 

By implementing statistical models and machine learning, UEBA can detect sophisticated threats that traditional security tools might overlook, such as compromised user credentials or insider threats acting within their usual permissions but with malicious intent. 

Business Process Optimization

Beyond security, Teramind offers significant capabilities in optimizing business processes. The platform’s detailed analytics provide insights into employee productivity, workflow bottlenecks, and operational inefficiencies.  

Track and Monitor Employee Email Activity with Teramind

Almost every business has encountered different forms of email compromise—internally or externally—whether it’s the usual BEC scam, phishing, or good old spoofing attack. 

In all of this, one thing remains certain: If these attacks are left unchecked, the business risks losing significant amounts of money, sensitive data, and, worse, its reputation. It can also face legal repercussions if it fails to protect customer data effectively. 

To prevent this from happening, enterprises choose Teramind as a preferred solution. 

Teramind’s email monitoring solution ensures the security of incoming and outgoing emails by recording and indexing all email communications, preventing security breaches and the unauthorized transfer of sensitive data. 

The software includes keylogging features that offer extensive insights, making it an essential tool for monitoring employee emails in the workplace. This capability is crucial for detecting insider threats and preventing data loss. Teramind effectively removes any uncertainty about what information is shared via email and whether sensitive data is being distributed.

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