Do you still send sensitive data without encrypting your emails?
Are you good at Sensitive Data Protection?
Given that over 90% of employee communication still takes place via email, it comes as no surprise that email is considered the main channel for a data leak, requiring Sensitive Data Protection. Sending important emails with sensitive information happens all the time, but there is so much that can go wrong. Attaching the wrong file, sending emails to the wrong or an unauthorized recipient are just some of the unintentional errors.
Most of them even go unnoticed until the data leak is discovered, resulting in serious consequences for those involved. Intentional sharing of confidential data with malicious intent presents another major problem.
Protecting your business from such scenarios requires encrypting emails as an absolute minimum and continues with more sophisticated methods such as content recognition and authorization management.
Critical examples of improper handling of sensitive data
- Employees send emails with confidential data (such as personal or financial data, credentials or critical business information) in the subject and email body without encrypting it first.
- Storing unencrypted messages containing confidential information in the mailbox.
- Employee sends an email to a customer, but attaches by mistake a file with another customer’s confidential data.
- Employee sends customer details to external parties or to a department that is not authorized to work with customer data.
- A terminated employee intentionally sends confidential business information shortly before leaving the company.
Why is the improper handling of sensitive data dangerous:
- Exposure of business-critical information – Financial data, intellectual property, customer data, competitive or other business-critical information can fall into the wrong hands and fatally impact your business.
- Regulatory violations and severe penalties – Personal or otherwise regulated data can be disclosed, resulting in a breach of legal requirements. In consequence, the company can be subject to fines by the affected parties or even severe regulatory sanctions in large amounts.
- Loss of image – Casting doubt on the company’s ability to properly handle sensitive information results in losing its trustworthiness as a partner.
- Consequences for the employee – The employee responsible for the data leak could be embarrassed, in the best case, punished or even fired. In the worst case, legal action may be taken against them.
- Often goes undetected – Even if employees notice their mistake, they will most likely cover it up instead of disclosing it to limit the damage. In the case of malicious intent, the problem will not be revealed until the damage has already been done.
GBS can help you prevent improper
handling of critical information
Centralized management of email security
Electronic signatures for all emails (This is possible for all emails and helps to verify the senders and guarantee that the content has not been modified.)
Automatic use of the appropriate encryption technology S/MIME, PGP or message encryption without user interaction
Verification of incoming signed messages
Certificate Management to keep a record of outdated certificates and have the current ones always available
Encryption Management based on sender-recipient combinations, groups and domains, content of emails and attachments, attachment types or origin (e.g. ERP system)
Encryption of emails by converting them to PDF using secure password
Confidential email correspondence without PGP, S/MIME or PKI structures (optional)
Key & Certificate Management
Categorization of emails according to business processes, key identifiers (e.g. project numbers), key words and patterns mentioned in email body and attachments
Content Recognition for identifying the presence of critical information
Checks in accordance with corporate policies for prohibited, undesirable or confidential content
Blocking emails from undesirable senders and to undesirable recipients (e.g., competitors)
Data Loss Prevention
Identification of sensitive information in emails and attachments
Detection of anomalies in email transmission
Stopping of transmission of suspicious emails
Compliance with current data protection guidelines
An incident that happens more often than we realize
When we talk about cybersecurity, we often think only in terms of defense. We believe that we have something in the digital world that belongs to us and we need to protect it from outside threats. That’s is absolutely true, but it doesn’t cover all our responsibilities in terms of cybersecurity. The core of this responsibility is data and securing it in every aspect. Of course, the majority of threats comes from outside, and it is absolutely essential that we take adequate measures to counter them. However, we should not underestimate the possibility that this information can be misused by insiders.