Human error poor excuse for Telstra email leak

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Human error poor excuse for Telstra email leak

Telco must work harder to ensure it doesn't leak details again.

Despite being the victim of "human error" Telstra will have its work cut out as it rebuilds customer trust following the leaking of their details this week, an anti-virus company said.

M86 vice president Jeremy Hulse said the telco, which accidentally leaked a spreadsheet of customer details, would need safeguards to avoid further such embarrassment. M86's flagship product was secure email server MailMarshal.

Telstra has apologised for the leak.

"The biggest challenge in protecting information will always be the individual actions of employees and although this leak was the result of human error, it's impossible for any organisation to prevent staff members from making mistakes," Hulse said.

"As a result, it's crucial organisations back up security policies with  intelligent data-leakage-prevention technologies." 

The leak occurred when a Telstra employee inadvertently sent customer details to a mailing list of customers instead of its intended recipients, Telstra Country Wide dealers.

"In this instance, an intelligent email filtering solution could have mitigated data loss by identifying the potential data breach and alerting relevant parties internally so a call could be made on whether to block or hold the email until internal approval was granted," Hulse said. 

"Such solutions are easy to deploy, very user friendly and strike a balance between business productivity and information security so there really is no need for any organisations to fail in protecting the sensitive data they hold." 

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