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Proofpoint CEO: Cyberattackers are now targeting individuals, not companies

Cyberattackers are now targeting individuals

As cyberattacks grow in power and number, Proofpoint CEO Gary Steele sees them moving from targeting organizations to hacking individuals through email and social media.

"We're all about protecting individuals and we've seen the threat landscape really move in that direction, where bad actors are targeting people, not infrastructure, these days," Steele told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer on Friday.

"As a result of that, companies need to buy protection that Proofpoint provides," the CEO said.

Proofpoint is a California-based software company specializing in cybersecurity solutions for companies seeking to prevent business email compromise, also known as email spoofing. It's a hacking tactic often used on employees to obtain company information.

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Proofpoint CEO: Cyberattackers are now targeting individuals, not companies

"It just simply looks like your boss is telling you to do something you probably shouldn't do," Steele said. "So it's 'send a wire,' it's 'send confidential HR information,' it's 'send proprietary intellectual property.' These are the kinds of attacks that are really prevalent."

Proofpoint, which just saw its 55th consecutive quarter of strong earnings numbers and revised its guidance upward, also targets attempts at brand fraud, phishing, and a number of other digital risks.

Steele said recent partnerships with security players Palo Alto Networks and Splunk have delivered more value to customers, and boosted the company's protective scope.

"Today we have roughly half of the Fortune 100 [and] we have 34 percent of the Fortune 1000, so while we've done really well, we still have a long ways to go," Steele said.

While cyberattackers are often very skilled at mimicking a company's email style in order to trick unassuming workers, Steele said Proofpoint serves as a formidable defense.

"We employ a big team of threat researchers and data scientists, and through the innovation that we provide, we are very good at detecting these kinds of things," Steele told Cramer.

"And if you think about it from a financial point of view, we're putting 19 cents of every revenue dollar back into [research and development], and through that investment, we're delivering great capabilities to better protect our customers," he added.

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