Human Error - Avoiding Corporate Embarrassment


Thought Leadership

Human Error - Avoiding Corporate Embarrassment

Neil Farquharson

I am constantly amazed how intelligent people manage to cause harm through silly lapses involving email. The Office of Civil Rights - part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - reports that in 2015, no less than 39 healthcare providers and insurers suffered email related breaches where more than 500 patient records were exposed. In almost every case, human error was the primary factor causing the breach. Another most embarrassing incident occurred at Carnegie Mellon University last February when the University apparently broke the hearts of 800 applicants to its master's program in computer science. The applicants all received an email that ran:

"You are one of the select few, less than 9 percent of the more than 1,200 applicants that we are inviting. ... Welcome to Carnegie Mellon!"

The only trouble was, the 800 people were on the list of rejected applicants, and Carnegie Mellon soon followed up with a Dear John email, crushing the dreams of these recipients. And that same kind of human error occurs over and over again – to Drexel University, MIT, UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, Cornell, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, New York University, Kellogg School of Management and many more. Similar human errors occur at state agencies, hospitals and corporate businesses covering the length and breadth of North America. It is fact: humans are constantly committing email gaffs, accidentally sabotaging their own efforts and damaging the brand image of their employers. ZixDLP is a solution from Zix, the market leader in email encryption. Whereas Zix Email Encryption protects emails when transiting the Internet, ZixDLP protects your employees from themselves. ZixDLP works in the background, twenty four hours a day, automatically scanning every outbound email – in real time – to detect sensitive information being sent to the wrong people. When ZixDLP detects a suspect email - perhaps addressed to the wrong person, or containing company confidential information – it quarantines that email and sends an alert both to the sender and to your designated security manager, protecting your organization and employees against human error. Thus ZixDLP gives your business a second chance to check that the information being sent is the right information and that it is going to the right recipients. Read our new ZixDLP eBook here.