The Risks of Unsecure Email Attachments

Posted by Gary Cooke on November 15 2016

Having spent most of my business career managing and designing corporate messaging systems and/or consulting with companies on messaging and archiving best practices, there is one common thread that’s persisted throughout that entire experience: people sharing data with others through unsecured attachments.

This practice has been happening since the first email systems were created for business and personal use, and those of us on the administrative side of messaging have tried different methods to secure data being shared internally or externally.  If you worked in a large corporation you had a network team that had the single function of protecting the company’s network infrastructure from the evildoers outside of the network. The messaging team was responsible for ensuring that all the emails were delivered to their intended recipients and that no harmful messages (virus, malware, scams or even pornography, in the old days) entered the sanctity of the corporate environment. If you worked in a small to medium company those two teams might be a single person. Yet the job description was the same: protect the company’s data.

In these endeavors, the major concern was then as it is now: Do we know what our employees are sharing and, more importantly, with whom they’re sharing?

Secure your data

As we all know by now, when someone sends an email with an attachment, as soon as the send button is clicked you have lost all control over the security of the information contained in the message and the attachment. Your recipient(s) now have complete and total control over what happens with that information next, but even they don’t control it for very long if they happen to share it with others. And so on.

So, if your company has intellectual property that is vital to the creation of the products and services that you offer then you want a way to make certain that that data is always secure, especially when and if it is shared with others internally or externally. Being able to secure the attachments that are being emailed to anyone should be a top priority for all companies big and small.

What if the secret recipe for that one Colonel’s fried chicken offerings ever made it to the public? Or the mix for that famous soft drink? The information that makes your company special?  More than likely once that data becomes public people could duplicate what you do, and would they have any reason to continue to buy your product or pay for your services?

Protecting your company’s data when it is being shared as an attachment in an email is essential today. The documents attached to those emails, along with your employees, are what make your business unique and viable. The problem is that without a fail safe email security mechanism in place, those valued employees may be the very ones who share your secrets with the world and ultimately cause your company legal issues or a loss of reputation and market share.

Whether your data is safely stored in your corporate network, in the cloud, or in one of those consumer based file sharing systems, you need to think about how that data is being shared with others. Then implement a solution that will safely and securely deliver email attachments that your employees attach to emails with prospects, customers, and business partners. Better yet, use a system that not only secures email attachments but gives you control over those documents after they’ve left your network. It’s vital to your livelihood and the success of your business.

Secure your data

We'd love to speak with you about your unique data security challenges and possible solutions. To learn more about Vaultize’s comprehensive email attachment security, DRM, file tracking and data security platform, please contact one of our solutions architects.

Topics: file security, email, secure email attachment, network security, DRM, control over email

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