Preventing Data Leakage Through Email and Instant Messaging

Incidents continue to accumulate and hit the daily headlines. Many of them involve the loss of sensitive information through some type of messaging activity. The losses can have devastating impacts to business.
The messaging-related incidents are sometimes technology-based, such as social-engineering tactics through instant messaging (IM) communications, sometimes they pre-meditated malicious activities, and sometimes they are just plain ol’ “OOPS!! What the heck did I just do!!!!???” types of situations.

Often times there are not comprehensive policies and procedures in place to addres and try to prevent the most common types of messaging incidents. Many times organizations are not forward-thinking to see how new technologies will put their organizations at risk when implementing new messaging technologies, such as IM, voice over IP (VoIP), and so on.
It is typical for the first concern for some new messaging technology to be with productivity, such as expressed in a report from today’s Baton Rouge Business Report. This article contains some good information, and certainly productivity needs to be considered, but not to the exclusion of security and privacy. This article does not even address security and privacy issues.
An excerpt from the article implicated the need for such discussion.

“Research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s 2004 study, “How Americans Use Instant Messaging,” states about 11 million people use instant messaging at work, with 11% of at-work users insisting they couldn’t live without it.”

11 million are using IM at work.
At least!
This is significant, and it is scary to think that so many organizations have let this technology into their network without first establishing information security and privacy policies, procedures and related restrictions.
I just posted a new paper about this topic to this site, “Preventing Data Leakage Through Email and Instant Messaging.”
I hope you find it helpful in addressing the important issues of messaging security and privacy. If you have additional thoughts or risks I didn’t cover within it, please let me know!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply