Subject: A survey conducted by VaporStream indicates despite the well-publicized risks email presents to enterprises, employees still misuse email and companies are failing to successfully implement acceptable-use policies. As noted by VaporStream CEO, Jack Hembrough: “As we approach the 40th anniversary of the first Arpanet email – the progenitor to today’s email –enterprises still have not cracked the code on eliminating the legal and security risks from employee misuse. It’s clear technology and education is not having the desired effect and is no match for email’s inherent vulnerabilities. As a result, employees continue to violate regulations and leak sensitive information via email, and enterprises continue to suffer the consequences.”
Date: April 25, 2011
In a study of how professionals use, and companies manage, email - particularly the handling of private and confidential information - confidential messaging service provider VaporStream found that employees remain a major source of risk to employers and themselves. According to findings, 73.7 percent of respondents from larger companies (100+ employees) admitted to compliance violations via email. Furthermore, when asked “Does your company have an acceptable-use email policy?”, 42.7 percent answered “No” or “Unsure.” Such misuse and widespread lack of awareness were just two of many indicators showing that enterprises are not effectively mitigating email risk.
Personal & Professional Exposure: Survey results show employees not only misuse email, they fail to recognize it can be monitored or that they might be violating acceptable-use policies. This puts both employees and employers at significant business, legal, regulatory and security risk.
Post Control Angst & Anxiety: As the survey shows, the inherent lack of control over email once it has been delivered poses a wide variety of problems for, and anxiety amongst, employees.
Human Error & Email: Nearly 3 out of 4 respondents answered “Yes” when asked “Have you ever sent private and confidential business information via email?” While fairly standard practice, the survey shows email and human error go hand-in-hand, and sensitive information often ends up being viewed by the wrong people.
Potential for Costly Violations: Regulatory compliance infractions hold serious repercussions – ranging from fines to irreparably damaged reputations – particularly for companies in areas such as finance and healthcare. Survey results show that corporate leaders have good reason to be concerned.
Email’s Other Threats: Private and confidential email that has been printed out can be left on a printer, at an airport lounge or trade show booth, and mobile devices and laptops are often lost or stolen. As the survey shows, electronic distribution is not the only potential threat posed by email.
VaporStream CEO, Jack Hembrough, a longtime security industry veteran, is available for comment on the survey. Also available are independent cyber security and eDiscovery experts. To arrange interviews, please contact the Davies Murphy Group: Marty Querzoli, [email protected], (781) 418-2433; Sarah Otterstetter, [email protected], (781) 418-2416.