Blog3 Best Practices for Email Data Loss Prevention

3 Best Practices for Email Data Loss Prevention

May 13, 2015, Mobility / Service Support

22 percent of companies experienced a leak of sensitive or confidential data through email in 2013. – Osterman Research

Not only is email the main source of communication in the enterprise but it’s also a primary channel for data loss of intellectual property, personal information, financial data and sensitive client information.

The reality is that email is where an organization’s leaders and employees store, retrieve and edit sensitive data. It’s where they collaborate with colleagues to send and receive critical information. Due to the prominent role email plays in enterprises, the average organization’s email account contains a substantial amount of sensitive information, making it an attractive target for cyber-criminals.

A breach of email data can be devastating to an enterprise, resulting in reputational damage, heavy fines and a decreased competitive edge. To protect your organization, consider the following three best practices for email data loss prevention:

1. Monitor email data movement

To best protect the organization from email data loss, IT needs full visibility into how data is currently used to identify existing behaviors that put the enterprise at risk. Once this knowledge is obtained, the organization can develop suitable policies to mitigate the risks of data loss while enabling appropriate use and productivity.

2. Prioritize outbound data protection

Protecting the critical information flowing out of the organization is just as important as guarding the enterprise against viruses, cyber-attacks and malware. We recommend implementing a solution that can identify and classify sensitive information including social security numbers, health data, financial account numbers and confidential corporate information. The enterprise will also want to take measures to block, quarantine, redact and automatically encrypt risky messages.

3. Educate employees

According to recent reports, 56 percent of employees have received unencrypted, risky corporate data via email or other attachments, and 21 percent report sending sensitive data without encryption.

We recommend training employees on the dangers associated with email leakage, because educated employees are exponentially less likely to engage in risky email behavior. Make sure they understand the email security policy and its goals, and are aware of how their actions may result in serious data loss that can harm the enterprise.

Learn more about the security and content component of Calero’s Managed Mobility Services solution.