Pegasystems Displaces SEG for Better Email Security at a Lower Cost

Company prevents impersonation attacks, improves email management efficiency, and eliminates SEG spend with Abnormal.
Pegasystems Displaces SEG for Better Email Security at a Lower Cost

Pega’s low-code platform for AI-powered decisioning and workflow automation “fuels organizations for the future” by providing the tools its customers need to work smarter, unify experiences, and adapt instantly. The company, which serves many of the world’s largest and most successful enterprises and government agencies, operates across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Pega routinely wins industry awards for its technology, its commitment to sustainability, and its dedication to the workplace experience.

The Email Security Challenge

When Corporate Security Operations Director Steve Tieland joined Pegasystems, the company’s internal corporate email environment was flooded by VIP impersonation attacks bypassing the SEG and Microsoft Defender. Tieland made email reform a priority in an effort to improve security and relieve his team of the 60 hours per week they were spending on manual investigation and remediation.

Employees and executives also spent hundreds of hours each month managing graymail.

“We would change the filter settings, but one change would add more spam and another would quarantine too many emails. The SEG offered new features to help, but they broke things in our email system.”
- Steve Tieland, Corporate Security Operations Directors

The Abnormal Security Solution

Pegasystems was looking for a more effective solution. Tieland researched API-based email security solutions and thought they offered a good opportunity to test a new approach without risking email disruption. He also knew that AI functionality could help eliminate the graymail problems caused by the SEG’s rigid rules. Finally, he wanted a solution that would complement their Microsoft 365 E5 security features.

Abnormal is designed to work with Microsoft 365 even without a SEG and uses advanced behavioral AI to baseline normal user behavior to detect anomalies that can indicate sophisticated attacks like executive impersonation. Email Productivity applies the same behavioral AI to individual user preferences to filter out unwanted graymail, allow wanted promotions, and free the security team from having to manually manage filtering rules. Abuse Mailbox Automation puts investigation and remediation for user-reported phishing emails on autopilot, so the security team doesn’t have to manually address threats as they’re reported.

Why Pega Chose Abnormal

Abnormal met Tieland’s criteria, and it was easy to test. “Unlike moving from SEG to SEG, trying Abnormal was low-risk, and the functionality was the reward. We already owned the M365 products that Abnormal complements, and it costs much less than our SEG.”

In addition to Abnormal, Tieland tested two other API-based solutions. One required additional configuration work; the other caught fewer threats and generated 75% more false positives than Abnormal.

Pega Protects More, Spends Less, Saves Time with Abnormal

Abnormal has helped Tieland reach his goal of optimizing Pega’s corporate email without the expense and hassle of a SEG. “We no longer have executive impersonation attacks getting through, and my team spends maybe five hours each week on email instead of the 60 they were spending before,” he said.

Everyone else saves time because Email Productivity filters out nearly 250,000 graymail messages each month. “This was an easy solution to sell to management: ‘I'm going to improve our email, and cut our bill in half,'” said Tieland.

  • Industry: Software Development
  • Location: Cambridge, MA
  • Protected Mailboxes: 9,100+


Licensing costs saved annually by displacing a SEG.


Missed attacks or false positives in the last month.


Hours saved monthly on email security and graymail issues.

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