New technologies like mobile devices, cloud computing and social media have lead to new risks when it comes to securing corporate data. With all the attention given to these, it may come as a surprise that the single biggest threat to data security comes from an old-tech standby: e-mail.
The Eight Biggest Security Threats for 2010
Blue Coat Systems' predictions for the worst security threats for the year.
According to Data Security blogger Sue Marquette Poremba's analysis of Proofpoint's "Outbound Email and Data Loss Prevention in Today's Enterprise, 2010" survey, more than 35 percent of the 261 respondents indicated that their organization had investigated a leak of confidential or proprietary information sent in e-mail in the past year. In addition, 32 percent had investigated a suspected violation of privacy or data-protection regulations related to e-mail.
If you're looking for a real-world example of the threat that e-mail can pose to your organization's sensitive information, look no further than Apple. Former Apple supply manager Paul Devine allegedly coordinated his efforts to obtain kickbacks from parts suppliers using his company-supplied laptop and e-mail address. To its credit, Apple demonstrated vigilance by spearheading the investigation after finding e-mails between Devine and the suppliers on the laptop. Apple's proactive response backs up Poremba's view that the survey results indicate a positive move by companies to curtail e-mail abuse from within.
Strong e-mail security policies can mitigate risks like these. These Knowledge Network resources can help you prevent data loss, theft and exposure: