Top Data Leak Vulnerabilities and How to Secure Them

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The amount of sensitive information sent via email is immense. Financials are sent to auditors, press release drafts are exchanged with outside consultants, personal customer data is shared with business partners. Yet, so few companies put measures in place to protect email. Perhaps because sending email has become second nature, there's no reason to think that anyone other than the intended recipient is reading it. But if those emails aren't encrypted, to a hacker they are as easy to read as a postcard going through the mail. (Read: very easy to read.) Modern email encryption solutions don't need to be cumbersome or difficult to use; many integrate seamlessly without interruptions to day-to-day workflow.

Historically, the top industries investing in data protection have been health care, financial services and government, and the reasons are clear. These industries manage and exchange endless amounts of (lucrative) personal data — Social Security numbers, health records, bank accounts, etc. — and data protection is a crucial component of maintaining the trust of clients, patients and the public. Because they deal with so much personal data, these industries are also highly regulated. The acronyms HIPAA, GLBA and SEC come to mind.

Without these compliance concerns or regulatory bodies to answer to, companies operating in other industries are often not as aware of the risks associated with sensitive data and are not as motivated to utilize methods of data protection. When given the choice between tools and strategies that lead to growth, or investments in security solutions without a clear ROI, it's no surprise that companies typically lean toward the former. Even with data breaches dominating news headlines, companies continue to take the "it will never happen to me" approach, believing their sensitive data isn't worth stealing.

But all companies have sensitive data that is vulnerable to theft, and hackers will continue to explore new ways to profit off of valuable data, as evident by the recent hack of newswire services targeting upcoming earnings releases, mergers and acquisitions news and new product announcements. However, newswires aren't the only vulnerability for companies. In this slideshow, ZixCorp examines potential trouble areas that are exposing your company's sensitive data.


Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

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