Gossipmongers beware

We Brits love a good email forward, and in many organisations, Outlook is the new office water cooler, the virtual meeting place to share the latest scandal.

A recent survey results confirm that our national pastime continues unabated in the workplace, with 40% of users admitting to emailing office gossip, and 66% sending confidential information via email, putting the UK at the top of the league for inappropriate use of email.

The very real danger that this brings – be it intentionally or unintentionally - is that email can fall into the wrong hands.

Email is generally not secure and can be intercepted, or, as has been illustrated by many very public examples an email can be forwarded in vast numbers to an uncontrolled audience in a very short period of time.

We’ve all heard of cases where gossip-related emails which were initially intended for a single recipient have fast spread throughout - and far beyond – the workplace, spreading virally and becoming truly global.

And imagine the potential business implications if the same outbreak occurred with sensitive business-related information that 66% of people are busily emailing around.

Given the immediate nature of business communications, organisations need to put in place tools and policies to mitigate email risk. Email filters are the simplest and most effective means of achieving this, monitoring traffic for sensitive and inappropriate content, and preventing it from leaving the company network.

This provides clear, granular control over network security to meet regulatory compliance and ensures that email policy is adhered to and enforced across the organisation.