Recent high-profile data breaches have led many businesses to question how secure their company data really is. Over the past 12 months or so we have seen huge companies, such as LinkedIn, accidentally leak sensitive information. Many companies have found themselves facing huge fines because their data was misplaced. Are businesses doing enough to ensure that their data is secure, especially when sending important documents to third parties?
Over the past decade we have seen a significant change in the way that businesses communicate with clients and suppliers. Whereas traditionally contracts, employee information and sensitive data would have been sent through recorded mail we are now seeing more and more companies send this via email or large file transfer programmes.
This carries a range of threats to a businesses’ information. For example, many employees will have probably found themselves accidentally sending an email to the wrong recipient – what would happen if this email contained extremely private information that would have a negative impact on the company if the data found itself in the wrong hands? If you don’t have any email encryption software in place then there would be nothing that could be done…
There are many companies that specialise in software to help companies secure their emails or other important documents that are perhaps too large to be sent via email. For example, some companies enable you to put a date range on your email so that the attached documents can only be opened during a certain time frame. This may be useful for companies who only want attachments to be made available after a particular event has occurred. Further to this some software enables companies to have real-time access over their email so that they can see exactly where it has been opened and who has opened it. Finally, there are many pieces of software that will enable companies to revoke access to their email in real-time, which could prove to be very useful.
Over the past few years we have seen a significant increase in the amount of people accessing important documents via their mobile phones. This carries a whole new threat as the vast majority of mobile devices probably aren’t secured. Many companies now offer mobile device management software that enables businesses’ to keep watch on any data that is accessed by employees via their mobile device. Imagine if an employee had confidential emails on their mobile phone which happened to get lost or stolen, without any security measures there would be no way to retrieve this data.
With more and more data being sent electronically it’s more important than ever that businesses are fully in control of their information security.