Research Survey Series: Email Viewed as Source of Data Loss


Thought Leadership

Research Survey Series: Email Viewed as Source of Data Loss

Dave Robertson

Given ZixCorp’s position as the leader in email encryption services, the protection of our customers’ sensitive data in email has always been our top priority. This summer, we sponsored an email encryption study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, originally titled “The State of Email Encryption.” The goal of the study was to gain a better understanding of companies’ concerns about the data risks associated with unprotected email.

This is the largest study of its kind, and the key findings highlighted the need to escalate the importance of email encryption within today’s business environment. When examining everyday email practices, the study found:

•Fifty-nine percent of respondents strongly agree or agree that the use of email by employees is one of the main sources of data leakage in their organizations.
•Seventy percent of respondents are concerned about the loss of information via email on mobile devices.

The Ponemon Institute surveyed 830 IT, IT security and compliance practitioners of all sizes and industries. Most respondents were in large organizations (66 percent from companies with 1,000 or more employees) and represented heavily regulated industries (54 percent from healthcare and financial services). In many cases, these individuals are responsible for email encryption, either the decision to implement, the day-to-day administration or both.

During the next six weeks, we’ll use key survey stats and expert insight to examine:
•Why organizations view email as a main source of data leaks
•Mobile email concerns and how technology can help or hinder mobile business operations
•How companies view ease of use and how it translates into data protection
•What industries are affected the most by email data loss and why
•Other top findings from the study
•Survey summary and next steps to an effective email encryption strategy

Watch for part 1 of our Research Survey Blog Series next week as we dig into the results and discuss the study, appropriately renamed “The Escalating Importance of Email Encryption.” If you can't wait until next week, check out the survey Web site.