Aug 29, 2009

Increased data loss risk for companies

Proofpoint, Inc. found that US companies are increasingly concerned about a growing number of data leaks caused by employee misuse of email, blogs, social networks, multimedia channels and even text messages.

According to the June 2009 study of 220 email decision makers at US companies with more than 1000 employees, organizations continue to embrace preventative measures -- some more drastic than others.

The pain of data leakage has become so acute in 2009 that more US companies report they employ staff whose primary or exclusive job is to monitor the content of outbound email (33 percent, up from 15 percent in 2008).

In addition, companies are regularly ordered to produce employee email as part of legal actions, exposing its contents to outside scrutiny.

Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of large US companies report that employee email was subpoenaed in the past 12 months.

When US companies investigated the exposure of confidential, sensitive or private information via email, blogs, multimedia channels, and/or social networks, the end result for the offending employee was generally very bad news.

Email still the #1 threat: 43 percent of US companies surveyed had investigated an email-based leak of confidential or proprietary information in the past 12 months. Nearly a third of them, 31 percent, terminated an employee for violating email policies in the same period (up from 26 percent in 2008).

Read an executive summary of Proofpoint's 2009 Research.

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