How to Secure Your Company from Email Data Loss

July 18, 2016

11:47 am

Technology startups and politics may not often have a lot in common, but there’s one major thing that all businesses can learn from the Hillary Clinton email debacle: it is imperative to secure your emails and prevent data loss. Email data loss is a serious risk to all types of businesses, and every owner should put policies in place that can help protect them from the devastation that is often caused by a data breach.

Three Main Ways to Prevent Email Data Loss

If you are using Microsoft Office 365, you can utilize their built-in Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tools to safeguard your company emails. In fact, digital asset management company, Templafy, recently pointed out that there are three main ways to best take advantage of this option: sticking with Microsoft’s templates, creating a custom policy or importing a pre-built template from another provider. Either way, putting DLP in place for Microsoft Office 365 will give you a lot more control over your confidential data, which is one of your best ways to avoid ending up on the news after a breach.

Creating Your Own DLP Tools

Some other email systems have similar DLP settings, and many businesses that have their own internal email server have also created their own DLP tools. If you choose to go this route, it is vital not to skimp on the process, even if this means contracting an expert to setup everything for you. After all, the average cost of each stolen piece of confidential information is $158, and your company’s reputation may also take a big hit if any consumer data is exposed.

Using Updated Cyber-Security Measures

Of course, your DLP tools are only one piece of the puzzle. Without proper security measures in place to protect your overall network, it is still going to be much easier than most people would assume for a skilled cyber-criminal to access everything ranging from your company’s email to the files that are stored on each office hard drive. With this in mind, it is impossible to overly emphasize how critical it is for every business owner to beef up their company’s security measures. This includes, but is most certainly not limited to, utilizing constantly updated anti-virus and anti-malware software, along with intensive firewalls.

Implementing a BYOD Policy

Another potential source of data loss is linked to personal smartphones and computers. In today’s business world, it is almost impossible to not allow employees to sync their work email to their phone, but this means that you have to deal with yet another potential access point, potentially enriching the chance for email data loss. To help combat this problem, it is best to enact a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy and ensure that it is strictly followed.

Be aware, however, that the more devices you hook up to your company network, the more likely you will be to experience some type of setup or user error that could eventually be exploited by a criminal. Therefore, this is yet another area where you cannot afford to go the inexpensive route. Always work with IT professionals who have a firm understanding of your specific needs and a solid background in providing top-notch security solutions. Otherwise, the money you save today could be all you have left when a major breach ruins your company.

Another interesting point to consider is the fact that emails can provide a necessary paper trail that could exonerate your business if wrongdoing is ever alleged. Other political email scandals have showcased politicians attempting to purge their emails, presumably in an attempt to hide something. Scrupulous entrepreneurs will avoid this issue and instead enact firm policies about the type of emails that must be preserved on the company server.

Due Diligence Thwarts Email Data Loss

However, no matter what type of email you use, your main goal should be to ensure that it remains secure and data loss free, along with the rest of your network. Doing this will require some forethought, expense and regular maintenance, but it is always worthwhile to do everything possible in the way of due diligence to thwart the efforts of cyber-criminals who may attempt to steal your data today or at some point in the future.

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Holly Chavez is a former engineer and current writer and entrepreneur. She enjoys writing informative articles about technology and is amazed at all the new inventions and strides that happen every day. Holly also cares about the environment and is involved with writing projects and activism that supports sustainability, Green living and lowering the carbon footprint.