New Service to Safeguard Email

Links and attachments will be scanned before being delivered 

As part of ongoing efforts to enhance cyber security, Duke will introduce a new service on June 1 that scans links and attachments before email is delivered to Duke accounts to identify potential viruses, malware and phishing attacks.  

Duke has contracted with Proofpoint, a cyber security partner, to screen mostly external email sent to Duke accounts. Email attacks represent the largest threat to Duke’s information security, and Proofpoint will help reduce the potential for such attacks, according to Chief IT Security Officer Richard Biever.

“Each month, the Duke security offices lock an average of 80 Duke accounts, most of which can be traced back to the several dozen phishing attacks identified by the central security and IT teams,” Biever said. “These attacks represent the main security threat to Duke faculty, staff and students. This service will help us protect against those threats.”

Biever said Proofpoint will work largely unnoticed in the background without significant delays in email distribution. Links in emails that have been verified by Proofpoint will have a unique embedded URL address that begins with “” to indicate that the link has been reviewed and confirmed safe. Users can hover over the link to verify the embedded Proofpoint link.  If a link is deemed malicious, the email recipient will see a blocked link notification. Biever said malicious attachments will not be delivered.  

For more information visit the OIT Knowledge Database, or contact your local IT support or the OIT Service Desk at 919-684-2200 or at


Warning message


 If a link is malicious, users will see a notification in their browser like the image above.