Email security still top issue for business


There are still questions to be answered when it comes to the safety of data in emails, according to a number of security firms.

A survey carried out at this year's InfoSecurity conference by Proofpoint showed 93 per cent of those polled were either very or somewhat concerned about the potential for information to be leaked from emails within the business environment.

Although a small sample, Paul Hennin, director of marketing in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for Proofpoint, claimed it was still very illustrative of the wider market.

During an interview with IT PRO, Hennin said: "It is a very representative [survey] as we are talking to senior industry professionals who have greater insight."

"These are the guys that know what is going on and if they are concerned so should [we be]."

The major issue seemed to be around regulation. Whilst 64 per cent of respondents said they had their own regulations in place within their companies for data protection, that still left over a third without.

"That response showed there was a lack of clarity in [business]," added Hennin. He also said that with recent rules being introduced by the Information Commissioner's Office everyone is at risk of a fine as well as data breaches so it should be looked into.

There was also a strong belief amongst respondents they were being threatened, with 40 per cent claiming their organisation was targeted by a phishing email designed specifically to compromise their own users in the past year.

However, many of the breaches that occurred came down to one factor which can never be fully controlled.

"Human error comes up time and time again," said Hennin. "There is not any type of IT that will stop people making mistakes, but there is a lot there to help."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.