The accidental sending of sensitive information by email is a risk borne from what makes email such a powerful tool to begin with, so how do we deal with this problem?
The most pervasive communications channel for most organisations worldwide, email, is also one of the most prominent and underestimated data loss vectors, primarily due to human error, which an IBM report estimated was responsible for 95 percent of all security incidents.
By design, it’s an open portal to your organisation, allowing employees to communicate with clients, bosses and each other with relative ease and ubiquity. However, some of the things that make the protocol so lightweight, and easy to use are also those that make it challenging to secure in any meaningful way.
Email is used in innumerable different ways – it’s fairly likely that no two people order their email and processes the same, let alone two separate organisations. Employees use it for anything and everything – from sending sensitive data to clients, to discussing personal plans. The versatility of email makes it ultra-convenient but also adds to the risk of content being shared with the wrong people.
Unlike other messaging platforms, there’s no need for sending and receiving parties to use the same email provider, client or server. Because of its pervasiveness, email has become the go-to technology for sharing information within the enterprise. Gone are the days when people accessed their email solely from their desk. Employees manage their emails on laptops, smartphones, tablets and even watches. This ease of access increases the volume of information transactions and also the speed of email communication, thus making it considerably more prone to human error.
Contributed by Tim Sadler, CEO and co-founder at Tessian.
*Note: The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of SC Media UK or Haymarket Media.