Aussies more concerned about securing outbound email than spam

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Aussies more concerned about securing outbound email than spam

Australians are more concerned about securing outbound email which can lead to sensitive data loss than they are about securing inbound email that could steal data, according to a new survey by Proofpoint.

The ‘SafE’ survey, a new quarterly review of Australia’s enterprise messaging security landscape, found that out of 73 enterprises 51 percent said outbound data loss is more of a concern than spam, compared to 43 percent who said spam is more of a worry.

Email remains a primary source of information leakage, which can result in regulatory compliance violations, legal problems, loss of customer confidence and loss of competitive position, said Proofpoint.

However, when asked if spam remains a growing problem 62 percent said yes.

“Spam is definitely still a growing threat,” said Gerry Tucker, regional head for Proofpoint in APAC. “Organisations perceive it as something that’s not going away however there’s a growing awareness of focus on data loss prevention (DLP).”

Despite growing DLP awareness, Australian organisations said they have trouble protecting outbound data. 68 percent of respondents said preventing data loss via outbound email is a problem or concern.

“Over half of organisations responded that they could not mange their DLP and their inbound policies in a single environment. Whether it’s inbound or outbound, organisations need to have a cohesive policy in email use that’s easy for them to manage and administer and from a HR perspective that they communicate with their employees," Tucker said.

"Two separate policies are not easy to manage, it becomes an administrative nightmare."

Furthermore, on the employee front 15 percent of companies have terminated an employee for violating email policies in the past 12 months and 51 percent have disciplined an employee for a breach of email security policy which among other other things can incur a wide variety of unwanted costs.

“There are negative costs associated with it every time something happens," Tucker said. “It’s not just internal but external [pressures] such as regulators and HR processes. Then there’s that cost of 15 percent who are terminating or rehiring staff."

Compared to the US Proofpoint found that 26 percent of organisations were negatively effected by a breach in their messaging security policy. In Australia the research found 4.1 percent.

"Australian companies are either very good at what they’re doing with DLP or they don’t necessarily know what’s happening with their data loss and I tend to lean towards to the latter."

The survey was conducted over December 07 and January 08 across several industry sectors including financial, government, healthcare and service.
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