Proofpoint has been granted a patent for spear phishing simulation using machine learning. The technology involves sending simulated spear phishing messages to enterprise user devices, analyzing user interactions, generating customized follow-up messages, computing spear phishing scores, and providing tailored training modules based on the results. GlobalData’s report on Proofpoint gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Proofpoint, Network traffic analysis was a key innovation area identified from patents. Proofpoint's grant share as of February 2024 was 55%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Spear phishing simulation using machine learning

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Proofpoint Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11928212B2) discloses a computing platform designed to enhance cybersecurity measures within an enterprise setting. The platform includes a processor, a communication interface, and memory storing computer-readable instructions. These instructions enable the platform to send simulated spear phishing messages to enterprise user devices, analyze user interactions with these messages, and generate customized follow-up messages based on user responses. By employing a machine learning model and a series of branching message templates, the platform can tailor subsequent phishing simulations to target specific user weaknesses identified through initial interactions. The system then computes spear phishing scores for individual users based on their responses, allowing for the creation of personalized training modules to improve cybersecurity awareness and resilience.

Furthermore, the patent outlines additional features of the computing platform, such as generating follow-up messages based on temporal information, dynamically adjusting weight values for scoring algorithms, and updating message templates based on user interactions. The platform can also be utilized to monitor multiple enterprise user devices, generate customized training modules for different users, and compare spear phishing scores against predefined thresholds to assess cybersecurity readiness. By leveraging advanced technologies like machine learning and personalized simulations, this innovative platform aims to enhance cybersecurity training within enterprises, ultimately strengthening defenses against phishing attacks and improving overall security posture.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.