Infosecurity Magazine highlighted a 69% increase in the number of fines issued by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in 2017, totalling £4.9 million. Data breaches, such as emails being sent to the wrong person, accounted for 39% of the total fines. These were simple mistakes involving human error that could have been prevented with the right technology in place.
Why are email data breaches so common?
Sending an email to the wrong person or attaching the wrong file is an easy mistake to make. Not many can say they have never slipped up or have not had to issue a hasty email recall. It's all too easy to select the wrong recipient from the auto-complete email contact list, especially if you are distracted. And given the fact that most of us don't double or triple check the email before we click Send, it is understandable how confidential and sensitive information can end up in the wrong hands.
The volume of emails being sent each working day doesn't help. With billions of sends every week, IT departments don't want to add roadblocks to emailing workflows since it could slow staff down and impact productivity. IT managers may also remember none-too-fondly older email security products that caused email performance issues (like crashing or automatically disabling add-ins on start-up).
Fortunately, technology has caught up with the times and comprehensive data breach prevention solutions like cleanDocs can prevent leaks without any email downtime. cleanDocs is the only product on the market to provide recipient checking, attachment checking, and metadata cleaning in a single solution so users can be confident in the information they are sending. Once a user hits Send, recipients are confirmed and metadata is cleaned from attachments in a matter of seconds and the risk of a serious data breach is averted without any impact on speed or productivity.
The fact that the ICO will not hesitate to issue fines for substantial breaches should be a wakeup call to any organization that doesn't have any method or system in place to prevent data leaks. With the approaching enactment of the strict new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a business-as-usual approach to handling data will not be acceptable. Businesses will need to assess their current systems and processes, determine where they fail, and look for solutions before a breach happens – not after.
To learn more about preventing data breaches before they happen in time for GDPR download our free white paper.
About the author
Samantha Jefferies is the Vice President of EMEA and is based in the DocsCorp London office. Samantha has over 20 years' sales and management experience working for leading technology companies such as NEC Display Solutions, Despatchbox as well as computer manufacturer Packard Bell.