We all know that new and growing technologies go hand-in-hand with new and growing security risks. However, the newest Proofpoint survey shows that enterprise's biggest security problem is one the oldest technologies -- email.
The survey, "Outbound Email and Data Loss Prevention in Today's Enterprise, 2010" polled 261 e-mail and messaging decision-makers at companies with more than 1,000 employees. They reported that e-mail continues to be the No. 1 source of data loss risks in large enterprises. More than a third (35 percent) had investigated a leak of confidential or proprietary information sent in e-mail in the previous 12 months. But the positive aspect to that statistic is that companies are taking a stand against e-mail violators. The report stated:
Thirty-two percent investigated a suspected violation of privacy or data protection regulations related to email. [Of those investigations,] twenty percent terminated an employee for violating email policies. Fifty percent disciplined an employee for such violations.
Of course and not surprisingly, other emerging technologies, like social media, mobile devices, and cloud computing, are causing increases in security risks. All in all, perhaps the most alarming result of the survey was this: Despite growing awareness of risks involved, data loss continues to have a major impact on the enterprise. According to the survey:
Thirty-six percent of respondents said their organization was affected by the exposure of sensitive or embarrassing information in the past 12 months.
Thirty-one percent of respondents said their organization was affected by the improper exposure or theft of customer information in the past 12 months.
Twenty-nine percent of respondents said their organization was affected by the improper exposure or theft of intellectual property in the past 12 months.
In light of the survey, Frank Kenney's tips on how to keep company data safe are highly relevant to lessening some of the risks of data loss.