How Much is Your Email at Risk?

A comprehensive security plan will protect your network, your PCs, and the contents of your emails. Both inbound and outbound email security are critical. However, as you evaluate how much to invest in protecting your email messaging, consider how secure your emails actually need to be. For example, if you are just emailing photos of chairs that customers have ordered, that would require less security than sending sensitive personal information or contracts via email.
Secure Computing and IDC research recently surveyed 100 IT professionals and security decision makers in North American companies with 500 or more employees, and found that 72 percent of organizations had no solution for preventing data leaks over email and 89 percent of organizations lacked an effective anti-spam solution.
“Overall, our survey found that organizations need to increase their efforts in combating email security risks,” said Brian Burke, program director, Security Products at IDC. “While organizations have expressed concern about inbound and outbound email security, their current solutions are not getting the job done. Only 11 percent of those surveyed had adequate inbound protection, and over 70 percent have nothing in place for data loss prevention on email. Such organizations need to take advantage of new solutions and delivery models.”
The survey also found:
Most data loss incidents (80-90 percent) are caused accidentally by insiders. Not surprisingly, the companies surveyed were much more worried about accidental data loss than deliberate leaks. Only five percent of companies reported that they were extremely concerned about insiders intentionally revealing sensitive information, while 44 percent were extremely concerned about accidental loss.

89% of organizations lack effective anti-spam and most use outdated technologies. More unwanted messages are getting through messaging security systems, particularly at large corporations. In all, 28 percent of large organizations reported that their spam complaints had increased by more than 10 percent since the previous year.
Companies continue to be concerned about email-borne malware, including malicious URL links (56 percent), phishing attacks (49 percent) and malicious attachments (47 percent).

In its White Paper sponsored by Secure Computing, IDC recommends that companies deploy data leakage protection and upgrade their anti-spam solutions. “STAMPing out Email Risk: Seven Technologies for Advanced Email Protection” is available at