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DoIT to implement new email security feature called URL Defense

The following email was sent by DoIT Communications on behalf of the DoIT Productivity & Collaborative Solutions (PCS) team.

In February 2024, we will implement a new email security feature called URL Defense. Also known as URL re-writing or URL wrapping, URL Defense is part of a suite of security features offered by Proofpoint, our email security provider.

Our current method of screening URLs in emails:
Currently, URLs embedded in email messages are evaluated when the message is received. If the URL is found to be suspicious or malicious, the email is sent to your junk folder. Sometimes malicious messages bypass detection because intelligence about a URL is not known when the message is received or the URL becomes malicious after it’s delivered. 

What does URL Defense do?
URL Defense modifies links in emails from external senders, allowing our email security solution to evaluate the link when it is clicked and block recipients from accessing malicious websites. With URL Defense, we have a second opportunity to evaluate the website link and protect faculty, staff and students from phishing and malware attacks. 

What will users see?
When you hover over links that are protected by URL Defense, you will see a different URL from the original one. URL Defense links will begin with https://urldefense.com/v3/__…. If you click a modified link and the URL is determined to be malicious, you will be redirected to a Proofpoint webpage that will let you know the website has been blocked.

This will go into effect for all users in February, but if you’d like to be an early adopter, we encourage you to opt into the preview group. We’ll share this news with the campus community via articles in the January TechNews and DoIT Connection.

Join the preview group

It is still important to carefully choose what links you click on but URL Defense offers another layer of protection. For answers to common questions about URL Defense, please see our comprehensive FAQ KB article. You can also reach out to the Help Desk.

Thank you,
DoIT PCS

Example: If URL defense blocks a webpage, users will see a message like the one shown below.