Emailing has become the primary method of communication for most businesses. Almost everyone has an email address. It’s grown from a communication tool to a de facto knowledge collection and storage system. Keeping all this information secure has become a top priority and a huge issue for IT staff.
The numbers are overwhelming; on average an employee sends and receives 110 emails each day, that’s 29,000 a year. Lets say you have a 20 person company so that is 580,000 emails a year. Experts say that one out of every 20 emails contain “risky” data. Risky data includes; SS numbers, health information, first and last names, passwords, usernames, financial information credit card numbers etc etc. That means that a small 20 person company can be exposed to email risk 29,000 times in a year. That is a staggering number in my opinion. Below are 5 simple steps you can use to help prevent this sensitive information from leaking out.
1. Have a structured policy and Communicate it to employees with email access. Create a email user policy that employees understand and can accept. Write it down, this can be a delicate process keep it brief and concise but not too vague.
2. Let Your Employees Be Your Eyes And Ears; You can’t see everything that comes in or goes out. Allow your employees to help create good practices and give them some latitude to enter into the “gray area” when necessary. Employees will know what is right and wrong so empower them to be watchdogs.
3. When in Doubt Filter Out; Email filtering solutions do exist. Check them out and use them as needed.
4. Encrypt and Notify; When necessary you can create a policy to encrypt outbound email and notify thee sender that encryption is needed for certain data. This also helps senders know when they have violated a policy. Set the rules for encryption and employees will appreciate the added reminder and security.
5. Measure Violations and Set Targets; It is important to monitor email for frequent violations of the policies you have now installed. If a person continues to violate email protocol action needs to be taken. By setting up email monitoring functions it becomes easier to objectively handle employees that violate the rules.
Hopefully this information has been helpful to you with the challenge of protecting your customers, employees and your business from problems and issues that do occur with email on a disturbingly regular basis.
About iCepts Technology Group; Since 1980, iCepts Technology Group has been offering the “Best-of-Class” technology solutions to help companies streamline their specialized business operations, become more efficient and therefore profitable. We provide start to finish services for the solutions we represent. We provide services that cover process analysis, implementation, training, security and networking. Naturally, we also provide full ongoing support for years after implementation to help our clients succeed. We are your one stop shop for your business technology needs.
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