Why security leaders are re-evaluating email security

Safeguarding against cyber attacks has been a core focus of email security. Some experts are recommending that companies should instead look at enhancing email data protection.

Wondering why? We’ll give you nine reasons to re-evaluate email security.

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9 pages • 11 minutes reading

  • 0. Introduction
  • 1. Prevent mistakes before sending emails and files
  • 2. Prevent interception of email data
  • 3. Prevent access by vendors and other third parties
  • 4. Prevent unauthorized access after delivery
  • 5. Limit and understand the impact of a mistake
  • 6. Ease of use for employees
  • 7. Ease of use for guest recipients
  • 8. Easy to install, set-up and maintain
  • 9. Have a positive business case
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In September 2020 Gartner released an update of its Market Guide for Email Security. The report begins stating that “(...) migration to cloud email requires a reevaluation of email security controls and processes. Security and risk management leaders must ensure that their existing solution remains appropriate for the changing landscape”. 

Gartner calls out to such leaders to do so because, where traditionally the focus with email security was on protecting from phishing and malware attacks, it becomes increasingly clear that this is no longer the biggest challenge. In the Netherlands for example, the country with the best data leak reporting system in the world, of the 27,000 in 2019 reported data leaks ‘only’ 3% caused by hacking, malware and phishing in total. 90%+ the data leaks were related to the use of email and other forms of ad-hoc communication, showing that the new big challenge is email data protection. This article describes the why, what and how of the 9 challenges to adequately protect your data with ‘normal email’.

Why is email data protection your biggest challenge?

Email is still by far the most used way for businesses to communicate. On average, employees spend 2.6 hours and, dealing with 120 business emails per day. With an expected yearly growth of more than 4%, email will remain the pre-eminent form of communication used by organizations for at least the next decade. However, increasing compliance and regulation requirements, an increasing number of data leaks and increased cyber threats are putting greater emphasis on email data protection.

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