5 min read

5 ways to avoid the most common causes of data loss incidents

Meetings, deadlines, never-ending to do lists; our days have never been busier. We all need to be able to work efficiently and with confidence that we aren't about the cause a major data leak for our organization.

But this is far easier said than done.

It seems that a day doesn't go by that a business isn't in the headlines for a data incident. And, unfortunately, the latest data from data protection agencies (including the UK's ICO) puts human error - non-cyber related activities - at the top of the list as the cause of the majority of reported data loss incidents today.

Whether it's an email mistakenly sent to the wrong recipient, or a file including unnoticed sensitive information shared with stakeholders, these incidents are only ever one click away.

So, here are our five top tips for ensuring every sensitive file and email you share is safe and secure, from writing to sending and beyond.

1. Stick with email

The number of collaboration tools we use is increasing, but this doesn’t mean productivity is on the rise. In fact, according to our latest research, with so many platforms and processes to juggle, employees are experiencing digital fatigue and burnout, leaving organizations open to potential data breaches.

Take action: Familiar, universal, easy for recipients - employees want to use email. Instead of jumping outside of existing workflows or expecting people to change their behavior, empower them with smart technology designed to integrate seamlessly with existing email clients (Outlook, Office 365, Gmail) and make achieving digital security nothing short of effortless. 

2. Make sure you can rely on recall

It’s a feeling we’re all familiar with; the realization that you’ve sent an email to the wrong recipient (we know, it doesn’t bear thinking about). No matter how careful we are, mistakes still happen, so it’s important to be able to recall access to an email or attachment when necessary.

Take action: While traditional email clients make recalling emails almost impossible, intuitive integrated solutions provide recall functionality you can rely on, allowing users to quickly restrict access to an email. Plus, if the message is restricted before the recipient has opened it, you can guarantee that a potential data leak has been contained. Phew!

3. Use multi factor authentication

You’ve just sent a highly sensitive file to your client; it contains personally identifiable information and financial data so you’ve sent it securely - very wise. But while your email may be secure in transit, how can you guarantee the information is accessed only by the appropriate recipient? 

Action: Multi factor authentication is a common functionality we are all familiar with today. Plus, for your recipients, it evidences your organization’s commitment to data protection. Intuitive solutions embed this functionality into your email client, providing an effortless way for employees to protect their sensitive communications without stepping outside of existing workflows.

4. Send sensitive large files by email

Most standard email clients put a limit on file transfers, forcing employees to resort to third party file transfer sites. This is problematic for a few reasons:

  • Employees are required to jump between different platforms, breaking workflows and leaving recipients frustrated
  • Many free platforms limit file sizes to 2GB
  • Some do not ensure compliance with data protection legislations
  • And finally, they don’t prevent the leading cause of data leaks today - human error.

Take action: Whether sending a 300GB presentation or a 2TB video file, share it by email.  Leverage smart security solutions which integrate seamlessly with your email client to enable easy and secure large file transfer.

5. Who holds your encryption keys?

Your email is encrypted and you’ve just pressed send, meaning only you and your recipient should be able to access the contents, right? Wrong. We see many suppliers retaining access to encryption keys, meaning they, government bodies, and whoever gains access to their systems, can access your data.

Take action: Only your intended recipient should read your email. Integrated solutions are built around a zero keys, zero access architecture, delivering unparalleled encryption, with Transport Layer Security (TLS) securing the connection between you and your recipient.

Employees want to do the right thing; it’s up to business leaders to help them do so. It’s time to expect more from your digital communications platforms. Find out how Zivver can help.

First published -
Last updated - 09/04/24
5 top tips to share information securely
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