Why Email Has Become a Serious, and Costly, Risk

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Why Email Has Become a Serious, and Costly, Risk

I was doing a bit of research the other day and I came across some email statistics. This started me thinking, as I haven’t explored the state of the email market in a while. For those who don’t remember, ‘everyone’ was going to stop using email and start using social tools to communicate. Email was passé, and millennials would never use it and would switch to social media, changing the face of communications forever. For analysts, it was a great marketing opportunity, and of course they used it as such – “the demise of email” made headlines. Guess what? It didn’t happen.

In fact, email usage is growing. Between 2014 and 2018, the average office worker received about 90 emails a day and sent about 40 business emails a day. To take these numbers in context, if your company has 1,000 employees, the team will send out 40,000 business emails in just one day.

According to Radicati Group’s Email Statistics Report, we can expect an annual growth rate of 4.4 percent over the next two years. It’s estimated that by the end of 2021 over 316 billion emails will be sent each day and there will be 4.1 billion email users – that’s over half the world’s population!

And according to HubSpot, 86 percent of professionals named email as their preferred means of business communication, and email ranked as the third most influential source of information for business-to-business audiences – topped only by colleague recommendations and industry-specific influencers. What chatterboxes we all are.

Coinciding with the growth of email is the risk brought by email. For cyberhackers, email is the most popular method of entry to applications and data. And that works both ways. Naïve or spiteful end users can wreak havoc with email misuse and abuse. Which leads me to ask how you manage your business email. You do manage your business email, don’t you?

Most organizations don’t manage their business email, despite the fact that email impacts eDiscoverycompliance, and information governance. Organizations do very well at ‘maintaining’ their email, but they don’t manage it very well. A costly oversight. Analyzing what is in email or email attachments is now a key security initiative. It doesn’t do much good to manage an email system but have absolutely no idea what the emails contain. And what about storage and archiving?

The solution requires the proactive prevention of data vulnerabilities, and the identification of non-approved instances of confidential or sensitive information. What does that really mean?

It means you need easy to-use tools that are easily deployed and even more easily managed, which will identify, inform, and remediate security vulnerabilities and privacy or sensitive data instances, all in real time, with little systems overhead. Our conceptClassifier for Exchange, which works with most email solutions, does exactly that.

If I were not working in this industry, even as a bystander I would position email security as a ‘must have,’ way above compliance or General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). How about you? Where do you think it should be?