What can Financial Institutions do to improve Outbound Email Security?

By: Standss Contributor , Jul 5th, 2022

Email security is important because email is still the preferred and ideal medium for communicating business-related data.

It’s no secret that employees at financial institutions everyday share confidential client information via emails. Employees have access to emails. They have access to sensitive information, and they can easily cause an outbound email data breach.  

The nature of information held by financial institutions is amongst one of the most confidential information. All measures must be taken to protect this information from being compromised.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is highly valuable on the dark web as cyber criminals use this information for identity theft. Regulatory laws require that sensitive information such as credit card numbers and bank account details must always be protected from unauthorized access at all times.

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One of the biggest risks to an organization’s security is sending emails. There’s no guarantee that the person sending sensitive information via email will send the correct attachment and information to the correct recipient.

Effective email security should aim to protect sensitive information shared via email communication in your outgoing emails.

Outbound email security solutions like SendGuard for Outlook prevent insider risks and acts as a seamless data loss prevention software for your outgoing emails.

Why Human Error is your Biggest Risk?

According to research by UKAuthority .com 93% of organisations are now sending and receiving more email than before Covid-19 struck, and 94% acknowledged security incidents with outbound emails. In a survey of the audience, 52% of participants admitted to accidentally sending critical information in an email at some point.

Unintentional insider threat is one of your biggest threats when sending outbound emails. It’s easy to send emails to the wrong recipient, include a wrong attachment or forgetting to use BCC correctly .

An average office worker sends around 40 emails per day. Over a period of 5 working days around 200 emails are sent. This means that there are 200 opportunities to send sensitive emails to the wrong person.

Financial institutions routinely handle and send highly confidential financial/personal information via emails. Even if one of those emails’ lands in the wrong inbox, it can cause significant problems to the sender and the company concerned.

The main point here is that sensitive data can be put at risk due to human error. Data breaches caused by emails can be due to tired, stressed or rushed employees .All measures must be taken to protect this information from being compromised.

As email has and will continue to be a prime communication tool, so will outbound email related data breaches continue to grow.

How serious is an Email Data Breach?

The biggest consequence of an email data breach for a financial institution is reputational loss.

Reputational damage is long-lasting, and it affects an organization’s ability to attract new customers and future investments.

The negative publicity attracted by a data breach can cause your clients to go to your competitors who take security seriously.

Goldman Sachs an American financial services firm had sent a confidential email to a wrong email account.

It all started with an email typo.

This email contained private client data and it was sent to a random Gmail address.

Goldman Sachs apparently had to take Google to New York State Supreme court, pleading with Google to delete the email to prevent a massive data breach.

Just because of a simple typo error on email, Goldman Sachs had to take Google to court and plead with them to delete the email. Such an incident happening to a large firm such as Goldman Sachs definitely brings them negative publicity.

One would wonder why a large investment company with billions of dollars of revenue did not invest in outbound email security.

Furthermore, under legal data protection regulations, businesses must demonstrate that they have taken appropriate measures to secure sensitive personal data. If a data breach occurs, whether it’s intentional or not, individuals can claim compensation by taking legal action.

Equifax had to pay at least $575 million to as many as 147 million people who had their personal information such as their names, birth dates, email addresses and social security numbers exposed by the company.

According to the reports, Equifax did not take the necessary precautions to stop the data leak.

No company wants to face lawsuits and offer monetary compensation which is just an unnecessary financial burden on the company.

Preventing data leaks requires businesses to focus on their outbound email security.

Securing Digital Communication starts with Email

Human error will never be eradicated completely. The best place to secure your digital communication is your outbound emails.

Employees in the financial services sector, from accountants, brokers or financial advisors, handle large amounts of sensitive information every day.

Financial institutions are held to the highest standards because of the volume of sensitive information handled and processed by them. A simple mistake on your email can cause big problems for your business due to laws like GDPR, GLBA and PCI DSS.

However, financial services firms can reduce risk and gain peace of mind by ensuring that their email communication is secure, with the ability to prevent accidental email data disclosure.

Email is here to stay, and every financial firm needs a secure way of sending emails that strikes an optimal balance between security and usability.

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SendGuard for Outlook automatically detects and prevents misaddressed emails, unauthorized emails, and mis-attached files. It’s the perfect solution that offers outbound email protection and risk analytics by integrating with Power BI, giving your security department a clear overview of risks of human error on email.

One of SendGuard’s most powerful features which our existing clients in the financial sector love is SendGuard DLP.

SendGuard DLP (Data Loss Prevention) checks email contents (body, subject and attachments) for specific words or data patterns and warns/blocks users if it finds any potentially sensitive or restricted content.

You can create regular expressions to detect certain patterns of data in your outgoing emails if they are sensitive in nature and prompt the user.

Apart from that SendGuard acts as a perfect risk and compliance tool by simplifying your regulatory compliance for outbound emails. You can enable compliance with U.S. , international and industry specific data protection regulations like GDPR, CCPA, Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”), Payment Card Industry Security Standard Council’s Data Security Standards (“PCI-DSS”),  Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”), Australian Privacy Act and other regulations which affect your business.

If you liked what you just read, then try SendGuard for free with full functionality for 30-days. Contact our sales team on sales@standss.com.

SendGuard for Outlook

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