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News

E-Mail Breach At Gwent Police Demonstrates Accidental Disclosure Risk of Personal Data

Overtis Systems : 20 April, 2010  (Technical Article)
Overis is providing guidance to companies in securing personal data from becoming accidentally disclosed through e-mail channels and exposing the company to litigation
Overtis has warned that organisations holding large amounts of personally identifiable data need to secure all communication channels, by classifying file types and applying rules to prevent them from being sent unencrypted. The advice comes in the wake of Gwent Police suffering a data breach after an unencrypted file was accidentally attached and sent to a journalist at The Register.

The file slipped out after an employee accidentally included the journalist within the recipient list of an email, with details of job seekers attached to it. The unencrypted spreadsheet included the names and dates of birth of job applicants who had been investigated by the police since 2001. The email software automatically selected the journalist's name along with that of the Gwent employee's superiors.

Commenting Ed Macnair, CEO, Overtis said, "Organisations often view data breaches as being solely the result of criminal activity or negligence. This latest example shows just how easy it is for an employee to leak incredibly sensitive information, in the course of their normal duties. User activity management isn't just about thwarting those with malicious intent, it also provides a safeguard for hardworking employees who're just trying to get on with their jobs, without fear of bringing a £500,000 fine on the head of their employer."
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