Currently, there are around 4 billion email users around the world.
According to The Guardian, an average office worker sends around 40 business emails and receives around 121 emails in a day.
Emails are an important part of any corporate work environment and from the above statistics, it is obvious that it’s a go-to communication tool.
Human error is one of the biggest cybersecurity risks that any organization faces.
If your company employs around 100 employees that means that there are 4000 possible opportunities for your employees to send confidential emails to the wrong person.
Many businesses place great importance on inbound email security to prevent threats from cybercriminals outside like phishing, business email compromise and spam.
There needs to be an inside-out protection for the emails that we send. All it takes to suffer the devastating effects of a data breach is for one person to accidentally send confidential information to the wrong individual.
How common is Accidental Emailing?
According to a new study, 60% of organizations experienced data loss or exfiltration caused by an employee mistake on email in the last 12 months.
Email was revealed as the riskiest channel for data loss in organizations, as stated by 65% of IT security practitioners.
Furthermore, the research also states that almost one in four (23%) organizations experience up to 30 security incidents involving employees’ use of email every month (for example, email was sent to an unintended recipient).
Confidential information such as intellectual property, customer/consumer information, sensitive email content, social security numbers, credit card data, and other regulated information is at risk of being sent to unintended recipients.
The major consequences of a data breach caused by accidental emailing is first, non-compliance with strict data privacy regulations like GDPR, and damage to an organization’s corporate reputation.
Organizations have to spend thousands to millions of dollars to prepare themselves to face legal battles due to the data breach.
Let’s not forget the countless hours spent by your legal team to prepare documents and dig through forensic reports to find anything that will protect your company.
An outbound email data breach exposes sensitive, confidential and protected information to unauthorized person(s). The contents of your email can be viewed and shared with anyone.
Anyone can be out at risk due to such a breach.
A Boeing employee had mistakenly emailed a spreadsheet full of 36,000 employee personal data to his spouse.
This spreadsheet contained personal data such as social security numbers and date of birth.
Had Boeing been using a DLP solution for its outbound email it would not be in a position to offer identity theft services to those affected employees who had their data compromised.
No company wants to be in a position to offer such compensation due to employee negligence. It is an unnecessary expense for the company caused by accidental data disclosure.
Additionally, your business can lose potential business clients. People want to do business with companies they deem as safe.
According to research conducted by IBM and the Ponemon Institute- the average cost of a data breach is USD 4.35 million.
Can you delete an email sent to the wrong person?
Once an email has been sent, it can’t be unsent. When your email leaves your outbox, you lose all control over it.
However, there are some so-called exceptions regarding this.
In Gmail, you have the option to “Undo Send” which delays your messages for a few seconds in case you change your mind. After that, your messages will be sent and you cannot really unsent it.
In some corporate systems like Microsoft Outlook, you can recall your emails. To recall the email, both the sender and recipient must have Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft 365 in the same organization and use Outlook as the email client.
Unfortunately for the recall to be successful, the recipient shouldn’t have read the message. You can’t unsee something you have seen.
What can you do instead?
The best way to avoid causing a data breach by emailing unintended recipients with confidential information is to always double-check your emails before sending.
Check which recipients you have added in the To, Cc and Bcc fields. And make sure you are sending the right file attachment to the right recipient.
However, easy may this sound in theory but it’s difficult to put that into practice in your everyday life.
You can’t always make sure that you are adding the correct recipients and attachments.
Research data also shows that the majority of organizations (73%) are concerned that employees do not understand the sensitivity or confidentiality of data they share through email.
Risky employee behavior on email is dangerous for business. That’s why you cannot leave the responsibility on your employees to handle confidential information with care.
You need an additional layer of security to prevent human-related errors and prevent careless email mistakes.
Companies should view outbound email security as a top business priority.
If you are looking for a solution, then SendGuard is an Outbound Email Security Solution for Microsoft Outlook that stops unintentional and accidental data leakage.
SendGuard checks the contents of outgoing emails and gets the sender to immediately confirm recipients, attachments and any sensitive content before emails are sent out. This ensures that sensitive or confidential information does not end up getting sent to the wrong people.
SendGuard even has built-in DLP rules to detect credit card numbers, social security numbers, patient health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII).
Custom-made rules can also be implemented in SendGuard to suit your business requirements.
Thousands of people use SendGuard to ensure the security, confidentiality, and integrity of sensitive data in emails and achieve compliance with strict data privacy laws like GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA and other legislation aimed at protecting information.
Get your fully functional 30-day free trial or just contact our sales team on email@example.com with your request.