Remote Working Compromises Outbound Email

There are many reasons behind data breaches and security risks but a significant problem arises because of remote working and stressed employees making simple mistakes and working from home environment is not ideal when it comes to maintaining a sensible email security. Due to growing number of need for online communication, email is a top security concern in 2020.

IT leaders have suffered significantly higher numbers of data breaches as a result of outbound email in the last 12 months.

According to a study carried out by Arlington Research commissioned by the Email Security specialist firm Egress, 93% of 538 IT leaders surveyed reported a breach in the past year due to an email error, with 70% of those believing remote working increases the risk of sensitive data being put at risk from outbound email data breaches.

  • They found that 93% of organisations had outward email breaches in the last year and that a breach happens every 12 hours.
  • Currently 94% organisations are sending far more emails because of the covid-19 virus working effects.

“Most importantly, these breaches have significant impacts. With 33% of organisations across Legal, Financial Services, Banking and Healthcare suffering direct financial repercussions from a serious breach, it’s clearly time for organisations to examine why their current approach to outbound email security isn’t preventing these incidents’, says the Report 

Egress CEO Tony Pepper has said the problem is only going to get worse with increased remote working and higher email volumes, which create prime conditions for outbound email data breaches of a type that traditional DLP tools simply cannot handle.

Organisations need AI and machine learning, to create a contextual understanding of individual users that spots errors such as wrong recipients, incorrect file attachments or responses to phishing emails, and the security needs to alerts the user before they make a mistake.

The most common breach types were replying to spear-phishing emails (80%), emails sent to the wrong recipients (80%) and sending the incorrect file attachment (80%).

Furthermore, almost two-thirds (62%) of businesses rely on people to identify outbound email data breaches, whilst 24% of IT leaders said the employee who sent the email would disclose their error. In terms of action taken, 46% of respondents said the employee who caused a breach was given a formal warning, while legal action was taken in 28% of cases. In 27% of serious breach cases, respondents said the employee responsible was fired.

Pepper said: “Relying on tired, stressed employees to notice a mistake and then report themselves or a colleague when a breach happens is unrealistic, especially given the repercussions they will face. With all the factors at play in people-led data breach reporting, we often find organisations are experiencing 10-times the number of incidents than they are aware of.

“It’s imperative that we build a culture where workers are supported and protected against outbound email breach risk with technology that adapts to the pressures they face and stops them from making simple mistakes in the first place.... As workers get used to more regular remote working and reliance on email continues to grow, organisations need to step up to safeguard both employees and data from rising breach risks.”

KeepNetLabs:         TechRadar:       Egress:        Infosecurity Magazine:

Cyber Security Intelligence recommends that businesses educate their employees regarding the negative effects of shadow IT and warn them that they can become victims of cyber threats.

GoCyber is a new, highly innovative cyber security training app that uses action based learning to significantly improve the online behaviour of all employees in less than a month.This is especially important when working at home and it is a cyber training program we recommend and has had excellent reviews by some large organisations. To register for a free demo click here > GoCyber

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