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Don’t think email security is important? Here are six everyday scenarios where many businesses loosely send sensitive and confidential content and files over unsecure email.
For the average business that sends thousands of emails every day, keeping the contents secure is critical to the health of the organization, regardless of industry. And while data might be safe while circulating internally, most tools offer little to no visibility into an email’s path after exiting the office—leaving it exposed to theft and corruption. IT teams need to ensure that the email solution they offer secures the entire message body and all attachments, and provides a secure, traceable path from point A to B. Globalscape reviews the following scenarios.
With the introduction and adoption of electronic health records (EHR), healthcare practitioners can easily share sensitive files with remote colleagues, business associates and patients. Insecure email and unapproved file sharing technologies can leave that data vulnerable while in transit. It’s important for healthcare workers to never use unapproved devices or apps, including USBs and third-party tools, to share confidential documents. Not only is this type of behavior unsecure, but it typically breaks HIPAA compliance as well and could lead to loss of accreditation or even fines.
Organizations send offer letters, tax information and payroll data all the time – and very often, they are just sent as an unsecured attachment. Even worse, in many cases, job seekers use consumer email platforms like Gmail and Yahoo – further enhancing the risk that the contents could be viewed by a third-party.
CPAs and CFPs make a living off of carefully handling clients’ sensitive information. Part of that responsibility is sharing information with colleagues in order to make a wise investment, or keeping a client updated on their portfolio’s expected rate of return. When managing someone else’s financial future, firms need to make sure that not only is every attachment secure, but that the message body is protected as well, and that they have an easy way to see who opened the message, when and where.
Just like the finance and HR fields, legal professionals are constantly sharing confidential files and information. From a Supreme Court Justice to a regional paralegal, everyone in law is responsible for ensuring that only the intended recipients have access to the files and data – regardless of whether they are being sent to a client, partner or legal entity. Failing to do so could compromise a case, or worse – someone’s legal standing. Many times with legal scenarios it is also important to maintain a documented chain of custody for document exchange purposes and to be able to show how and when an exchange of information occurred.
Whether you’re sharing RFPs, news of a pending acquisition or plans for a new workspace, strategic business data needs to be treated differently than casual emails. IT needs to encourage management to only use secure tools for sharing this type of strategic information – otherwise, they risk the news getting out in the public earlier than planned, or falling into a competitor’s hands once it leaves the organization.
Agencies will preach policies and push processes to keep data protected from any unintended source, but, as recent history tells us, it’s not always easy to keep information out of the wrong hands. When it comes to protecting data as it moves to partners, contractors and correspondents across the globe, it’s critical that IT invests in an email solution that provides unparalleled visibility, keeps the agency in compliance and easily integrates with partners’ systems to ensure that leaks are kept to a minimum.
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