Over the past several decades, organizations across industries have spent countless dollars on information security awareness training, the rationale being that investment in people – their biggest asset – will translate into stronger security protocols and better compliance among staffers. However, successfully changing behavior entails far more than training, and it all hinges on systemizing security.
In 2015 we’re going to witness a significant shift from merely promoting awareness to creating solutions and building them into the way that organizations do business. Currently an organization’s biggest risk factor with respect to data security is its people – and solutions and processes will evolve to address this issue.
The problem with data security solutions generally is that they’re complicated to use and easy to bypass on an individual employee level. And, with respect to email security, the level of risk is perceived as minimal.
However, the risk of unsecured email lies in the sheer volume of sensitive information transferred human-to-human each and every day. Employees will send emails to each other, outside vendors, customers and more, and – if these emails contain sensitive information and attachments – each unsecured transmission presents an opportunity for breach.
Under pressure to respond quickly and satisfy customer expectations around the convenience of digital communication, it’s all too tempting to bypass protocols around email security. At an individual level, employees rationalize that the degree of risk for any single unsecured email is very low. However, when you aggregate the risk of the entire pool of individual employees who aren’t complying with email security policies, the overall risk profile looks very different.
All of this risk is compounded by the type of information that organizations are now routinely sending via email – things like electronic receipts, transcripts, applications and other documents containing personally identifiable information that should be protected. While it used to be that folks had to wait to receive these types of documents via snail mail, customers now expect that the companies with which they do business should have digital communication capabilities in place.
Because customers want and expect the convenience around digital file transfer capabilities, organizations across industries are under pressure to provide the service. And, while it’s simple enough to send attachments via email, sending them securely is another story.
Traditional email encryption tools have significant limitations that make them exceedingly difficult to use – so much so that employees either can’t or won’t use them, or recipients have trouble accessing what is sent. However, the advent of cloud-based secure document delivery solutions has essentially brought safe digital file transfer to the masses. This is because cloud-based solutions don’t require software downloads and other complicated steps to successfully transfer the file.
Instead, cloud-based secure document delivery solutions segregate the attachment containing the sensitive information from the body of the email and require a password to access it. There’s no software to download or complex steps to complete to quickly and easily send and receive the document.
At the end of the day, it’s human nature to take the path of least resistance – and this is why it’s so critically important to systemize data security measures generally and secure document delivery specifically. With each and every employee sending potentially hundreds of emails daily, it’s a key – and frequently overlooked – data security concern.