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Proofpoint, Inc.

Essentials glossary

Welcome to the Essentials glossary. This page will give you a quick definition of the terms you'll come across. In addition we have included several common terms used to describe concepts related to email security.


A record - A host name at the DNS should point to an IP. If a host name does not point ot an IP, this will have errors finding it on the internet.

Access Control - Users have specific roles associated. Each role has specific settings allowed to access different parts of the service.

Account Management - Administration section where you can enable and disable features as well as review your general account settings.

Active Directory Sync - The mechanism used to import users from Active Directory and repeat the import process at intervals, ensuring that lists of users are kept automatically updated.

Active (User) - An email address that is licensed and can receive and send email.

Admin Contact - The admin contact is the primary contact associated with the account. This is typically used to identify an administrator associated directly with the account.

Alerts - A type of email notification, pending on the specific set-up, either by a filter or spooling of mail.

Anti-Spoofing Policies (Malicious Content) - Scan checks against a senders DMARC, DKIM, and SPF records and process according to settings.

Anti-Virus - A mechanism that prevents viruses from affecting computer systems. Essentials uses an industry leading Anti-Virus (AV) engines in order to scan all email sent to or by Essentials customers.

API - Application Programming Interface service is available on Proofpoint Essentials for a limited set of items.

Archive - A service provided that messages are sent to for legal and compliance purposes. Messages are stored outside the customer mail environment.

Attachment Defense - Attachment Defense is an optional feature. When enabled, Attachment Defense will match attachments in both incoming and outgoing emails against Proofpoint's cloud based scanning service definitions. Known "bad" attachments that match are blocked from delivery. 

Attachment Defense Definitions (reputation) - Like spam definitions, Attachment Defense sandbox information is saved as a definition to apply to all messages to see if we have seen this attachment before.

Attachment Defense Sandbox - Attachment Defense has a sandbox service (if licensed and enabled). Certain attachments are pushed to a cloud system to scan for possible threats. If threats are found, these get pushed to new definitions as well then quarantined.

Automation Settings - A reseller has specific settings that can be enforced on all customers upon creation or post creation.

Azure Active Directory Sync - The mechanism used to import users from Azure Active Directory and repeat the import process at intervals, ensuring that lists of users are kept automatically updated.


Billing - In itself, part of the licensing and what a customer will be paying for.

Billing Contact - The billing contact is a contact associated with the account who is typically responsible for receiving notifications related to account billing or renewals.

Branding - Customization of the Proofpoint Essentials interface and notification to look as a customer chooses, i.e. like implementing a logo.

Bulk Email - Proofpoint defines bulk email as a message that comes from 3rd party mass mailing service.  These are typically opt-in. We classify the message as bulk when we recognize this type of email.


Channel Admin - A type of reseller administrator responsible for only their organization and customers.

Connection Level Rejection - Proofpoint's IP reputation check with PDR and CSI will result in a pass or fail. If the reputation check fails, we immediately disconnect the IP due to bad reputation against our service with an appropriate error.

CSI - Cloudmark Sender Intellegence is a service used by Proofpoint to scan inbound IP for reputation upon connection to our MX records.

CSV - A CSV is a comma separated values file which stores data in a structured format. Aside from the CSV import, certain areas in our filter policies use a CSV format style.

CSV Import - User creation can be done through a CSV formatted file.

Customers - The section in the interface where resellers can create their customers as well as manage some templates when creating those customers.


Data Loss Prevention - Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is an optional feature through filter policies where customers can access a library of Proofpoint's custom smart identifiers and dictionaries.

Dictionary - Dictionary is a term used in reference to the Essentials DLP feature. Essentials provides several industry specific dictionaries that can be incorporated into a custom filter.

Disabled (Account) - An account that is no longer being billed. 

Disabled (User) - User that is not licensed and will not receive or send email. Also known as an inactive user.

Disclaimers (Security Settings) - Append a signature to an outbound email.

DKIM - Domain Keys Identified Mail standard can be implemented both inbound and outbound. Inbound is through the Anti-Spoofing policy. Outbound can be configured on the Proofpoint side, but requires a DNS update on the domain as well.

DMARC - Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance is supported on inbound mail through the Anti-Spooing policy settings. 

Domain Name - Your website address is your domain name, which is the later part after the '@' symbol on your email address.

Domains - Your settings for your domain name is handled for managing delivery destinations and sending servers.


Email - Messages sent over the internet.

Email Security Settings - Section in the interface that contains certain spam protection settings.

Email Tagging - Proofpoint inserts a subject tag to a message when enabled if we pass a message as clean.

Emergency Inbox - Mechanism that allows users to send and receive emails during corporate email system outages.

Encryption - Emails are sent through the Proofpoint encryption process by meeting a specific filter condition on outbound where the message will be hosted on a stand alone platform for recipients to log-in and view.

Encryption (securemail) Portal - Messages sent through the encryption process are hosted on our services, and recipients log into a website where all the messages are hosted. 

End Customer - As a reseller, you can view customers that are not resellers

End User - A user role type that allows users to have their email filtered, receive a quarantine digest and have access to the user interface. Also a person that is not an admin of a company.



False Negative - This is a message that is spam, but is incorrectly seen as a clean email. 

False Positive - This is a message that is not spam, but is incorrectly being quarantined as spam. 

Features - Main area where administrators can enable and disable or toggle certain features. 

Filter Policies - An email filter rule is a set of one or more conditions that are applied to email traffic and can alter the destination of an email (i.e., allow, quarantine, etc.).

Functional Account - An email address that should be considered as a distribution list / security groups / public folders. Proofpoint scans mail as normal and sends the email to the mail server for distribution.


Group - A Group is a container that contain users as members. Groups can be manually created and managed within an account or created automatically when syncing with an Active Directory or Azure Active Directory site. This is not to be confused with a distribution group (see Functional Account) which is mail enabled.


Instant Replay - Instant Replay is an optional feature. When enabled, users can resend an email that was previously delivered to their mailbox.

IP Reputation - Proofpoint utilizes it's own services for review of IPs. If an IP has been sending spam to our services, we can block for a bad reputation.


License - A customer will be provisioned with a product; either Email Security (scanning services) or Security Awareness. In Email Security there are different packages. In addition, this will dictated the billed number of users.

Logs - Also referred to as "Email Logs". Logs record inbound and outbound messages for email addresses which go through our spam filter checks. Log entries for messages include links to the filter definitions. Logs are available for up to 30 days.


Malicious Content - Spam protection settings for URL and Attachment Defense along with our anti-spoofing service.

MX Records - A mail exchanger record (MX record) is a type of record in the Domain Name System (DNS) that specifies the mail server responsible for accepting email messages for a specified domain.


Notifications - Proofpoint Essentials has a set of automated responses sent out to users.


OEM Partners - A high level reseller that can have large sets of other resellers.

Organization Administrator - A user role type that grants users the ability to manage other users within the organization.


Package - The Email Security license has 4 packages which dictate the features allowed to the customer.

Partners - Resellers can have a higher access role that allow them to provision other resellers in their service.

PDR - Proofpoint Dynamic Reputation is a service used to scan inbound IPs for reputation upon connection to our MX records.

Plug-in - Proofpoint Essentials only has one add-on to integrate with the product relating to encryption services.

Profile - Section of the interface that contains data for administration, including renewal dates.

PTR - An IP will have a reverse DNS look-up host name on it. A PTR record may look dynamic in nature if it contains certain data points indicating it is dynamic, or if it is similar to those in it's surrounding DNS that is shared. 


Quarantine - A term used to describe an email that the system has intercepted and blocked for delivery. This is typically the result of a spam threshold being met for an email, or because a custom filter has blocked the delivery of an email.

Quarantine Digest Email - Also simply known as digest. An email sent by the system to an email address showing a list of emails to that address and it's aliases that have been been quarantined.


Reporting - The information collected for inbound and outbound mail is collected and has various reports.

Role - Each user account has a specific role assigned in the Proofpoint Essentials system. The role dictates how each user can use the interface.


Securemail - Proofpoint encrypted email is hosted on Proofpoint services and available for 15 days to view before expiring.

Security Settings - Section of the interface where all the Proofpoint Essentials protection and filtering content can be managed.

Sender List - Sender lists contain email addresses (, domains (*, and/or IPv4 addresses that are to be explicitly identified as “safe” or "blocked".

Silent User - A user role type assigned to users who will have their email filtered and will receive a quarantine digest, but will not have access to the user interface.

Smarthost - An email message transfer agent that allows a mail server to route email to a designated mail server rather than directly to the recipient's server. 

Smart Identifier - A term used in reference to the Essentials DLP feature. Essentials provides several industry-specific identifiers that can be incorporated into a custom filter.

SMTP Discovery - A process that examines inbound and outbound emails for your domains and, based on the selected options, can either create new user accounts automatically and/or send an email list of candidates for new user accounts so that an administrator can choose which should have user accounts and which should be marked as invalid.

Spam - Emails that an end-user did not want to receive is one definition. Proofpoint classifies email as spam from coordinated data we get from reports or scans from our other data sources.

Spam Definitions - Proofpoint's accumulated data set where we classify email as either good or bad.

Spam Settings - Configuration settings for the Proofpoint Essentials for the scoring and how to handle certain spam messages.

Strategic Partner Admin - A reseller that can have multiple reseller-type accounts within their organization.


Tech Contact  - The tech contact is typically the technical administrator of the account. This contact field can be used to identify an administrator associated directly with the account or a partner administrator who manages the account.

Templates  - Templates are pre-defined settings, either for notifications or customer settings, that are inherited to other accounts or users.

TTL  - Time To Live (TTL) is a DNS setting that specifies when a DNS change will go into effect. A TTL can be set very high or very low. Most static DNS items will have a high TTL, as they rarely change. Any low TTLs can be set on a DNS to ensure that these are always fresh data points when the DNS is queried.

TXT Record  - A DNS entry containing actual text. Common items in a TXT record are: SPF and DKIM entries. Other services can be used here, like for a verification of sorts by a service.


Users - An email address set as a user will have an associated role listed in the interface.

URL Defense - An optional feature that, when enabled, will replace URLs located in inbound emails with a re-written URL. Clicks on the re-written URLs may be blocked if the original URL is known to contain malicious content.


Very High Spam - Proofpoint scans on an email will give this result if we have seen bad data on this and has been seen over numerous occasions.


Welcome Email - An email sent by the system to end-users or administrators who are added to an account.