Zivver’s Freedom to Focus research revealed that email has, and will continue to be, a prime communication tool – especially in conjunction with other platforms, such as video conferencing. But what sets it apart from other collaboration tools is the unique way it can be used for multiple purposes: to one person, or many, to encourage collaboration or communicate privately.
While being a ‘catch all’ solution has its benefits, it is open to abuse such as by malicious actors targeting individuals (spear phishing), mass targeting (phishing), and relying on complacency in individuals to obtain entry to the IT infrastructure of a business.
It is also a great way to send items and attachments to the wrong person or include groups of people in cc rather than bcc. Awareness of the fallibility of email and its mechanisms, such as sharing cloud documents in preference to sending attachments (also a great way to improve productivity and avoid many versions clogging up storage), or inbuilt delays in sending, should form part of company’s email policy and strategy, given that they are simple risk reducers.
However, it is worth remembering that email is purely a tool and part of a set. Some people can use it better than others and understand more of what’s ‘under the hood’ – having a space to share ideas and tips can provide a safe place for those that know less to learn without feeling inadequate.
Setting up safeguards
Given that it is embedded within most (all) organizations, email will continue to be a major player, until something is developed to replace it. IT departments will need to maintain security, keep abreast of trends, and enact patches, understanding that the ‘people’ element is fallible, and needs to be reminded regularly of responsibilities.
Campaigns about email use need to be constant and visible, to maintain focus and avoid complacency. Secure email solutions, such as that provided by Zivver, support the users by using smart technology to identify and repair errors before data is lost. By providing this safety net, people are empowered to protect date with maximum effectiveness and minimal disruption. Training of people in conjunction with technological solutions will allow users to flourish and do what they are employed to do, rather than worry about possible data leakage.
Breaches of email security WILL happen, it will then fall on the business to have in place appropriate safeguards (not sharing attachments, password protection where necessary, and smart technology) to ensure that any risk is minimised.
Download the free Freedom to Focus report to learn more.
By Steven Bond, Information Rights Manager, The Open University