E-mail data leaks a worry for most IT professionals

Most IT professionals are concerned about the safety of data sent via e-mail, a survey has revealed.

Most IT professionals are concerned about the safety of data sent via e-mail, a survey has revealed.

About 93% of IT professionals polled at the Infosecurity Europe show in London by security firm Proofpoint said they were 'very' or 'somewhat' concerned about the potential for private or personal information within an organisation to be inadvertently leaked via e-mail.

This is despite the fact that nearly two thirds of those surveyed (64%) said that their companies fell under some kind of data protection regulation that required special procedures, such as encryption, on certain types of e-mail.

The survey also found that about half of businesses (49%) have deployed some kind of e-mail encryption system, and a further 21% intend to implement one in the future.

"These findings support what Proofpoint has seen in its own dealings with e-mail security customers and prospects across Europe,"

"Enterprises have a pressing need to adhere to regulations that require special handling of sensitive information in e-mails, and require automatic methods for ensuring compliance," said Ken Yearwood, director NEMEA at Proofpoint.

Businesses are increasingly turning to data loss prevention, e-mail encryption, compliance and eDiscovery products in a bid to meet these increasingly complex data privacy requirements, he said.

On the positive side, the survey revealed that 94% of respondents who owned a corporate laptop said it was password protected, and 58% said it used full disk encryption.

"It is gratifying to see that passwords are now commonplace and that businesses are embracing security mechanisms such as full disk encryption to ensure that the company is not at risk in the event that a laptop is lost or stolen," said Yearwood.

The survey also found that spear phishing continues to be a problem, with 40% of respondents saying their organisation was targeted in the past year by a phishing e-mail designed specifically to compromise their own users.

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