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Highest information risk remains outbound e-mail

ProofPoint : 23 May, 2008  (Technical Article)
DLP survey by Proofpoint indicates that the greatest source of data loss continues to be outbound e-mail traffic
In its fifth-annual study of outbound email and content security issues, Proofpoint found that large enterprises continue to incur risk from—and take action against—information leaks over outbound email, as well as newer communications media such as blogs, message boards, media sharing sites and mobile devices.

Outbound email remains the greatest source of risk for European companies with 30% of those surveyed reporting that they investigated an email leak of confidential information in the past 12 months. 35% of the largest companies surveyed (with 20,000 employees or more) reported that they employ staff to read or otherwise analyse the contents of outbound email. 11% of these companies said they employ staff primarily or exclusively for this purpose. Other key EMEA findings in the survey include:.

* 30% of companies surveyed investigated an email-based violation of privacy or data protection regulations in the past 12 months.

* 22% of companies surveyed terminated an employee for violating email policies in the last 12 months.

* 30% of companies surveyed said their business was impacted by the exposure of sensitive or embarrassing information in the last 12 months.

Email is not the only source of risk for information leakage, however. Respondents to the survey indicated significant risk resulting from employee use of blogs, message boards and media sharing sites (such as YouTube), as well as mobile devices. Some of the key findings include:.

* 18% of companies surveyed had investigated the exposure of confidential, sensitive or private information from lost or stolen mobile devices in the past 12 months.

* 12% of surveyed companies disciplined employees for improper use of blogs/message boards in the past 12 months.

* 5% of surveyed companies disciplined employees for social network violations and 8% for improper use of media sharing sites in the past 12 months.

* 11% of publicly traded companies surveyed had investigated the exposure of material financial information (such as unannounced financial results) on blogs or message board postings in the last 12 months.

To download a free copy of Proofpoint's complete report, Outbound Email and Content Security in Today's Enterprise, 2008, visit : Proofpoint's web site.

Proofpoint's 2008 survey asked 93 email decision makers at European companies with more than 1000 employees about a wide variety of data loss concerns and the actions they take to mitigate risks of data loss. Proofpoint's 2008 survey also included 301 US enterprises to assess global concerns about outbound email and related risks.
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