Lots of financial services organizations have secure document delivery solutions in place – but are their employees actually using them? For most organizations, the answer is “most of the time.”
Because email is an essential business tool that can significantly improve productivity and collaboration, employees use it all day long. And, because employees are under pressure to work quickly and efficiently, they may be tempted to circumvent secure document delivery protocols and email sensitive information that they know should be sent securely.
While their intent isn’t malicious, it is neglectful. And when a breach occurs, it really doesn’t matter if the intent was purposeful or accidental – the damage is the same.
Financial services companies are subject to stringent regulatory requirements around personal privacy protection, and failure to comply with mandated protocols can lead to costly legal exposure. Individual employees may understand this risk in the abstract but violate the policy through rationalizing that the risk of breach on any particular email send is extremely low.
However, the reality is that the risk of exposing private personal information via unsecure email is far from minimal, and it’s usually not the hackers who are to blame. While email security experts point to operational complexities, lack of awareness around the risk, and inadequate training, when it’s all said and done the most common and direct cause of breach is garden variety employee error.
The most common error is simply sending the email to the wrong person, and virtually everyone that uses email at some point or another has either sent or received a message intended for another person. The error is so common because the mistake is so easy to make – you’re typing along fast and furiously and you select the wrong email address from your contact database and hit “send.”
For financial services employees sending documents containing private personal information – things like account numbers, social security numbers, name, address and more – sending an email to the wrong person is no minor matter. When this information falls into the wrong hands – accidental or not – both the customer and the financial services provider are placed at risk.
While most financial services companies have measures in place to protect email systems from external threats, it’s equally critical to pay attention to the threat associated with employee benign neglect. While companies will never be able to eradicate employee error, they can significantly lessen the impact through leveraging a fully featured secure document delivery solution.
Additionally, increasing awareness around the importance of secure document delivery and offering training so that employees are fully up to speed on how to implement the policies effectively and consistently gets everyone in the organization invested in proactively protecting customer privacy. Your employees are your greatest asset, and when you empower them with the tools and training they need to quickly and easily transfer confidential files securely through email, your risk of breach through benign neglect plummets.