Companies are continuing to look at ways of improving their security through their existing IT infrastructure, particularly email. If you recall the recent demise of the IT consulting firm HB Gary in 2011, the hacktivist group 'Anonymous' was able to leverage their archived emails to deepen their attack proving that lack of email security can have catastrophic consequences. Let's look at 3 new trends in email security and encryption that will shake up the security landscape.
Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) to Work
According to Juniper, HR departments are leveraging the benefits of having employees bring their own devices to work. Employees are found to be more productive and happier within their work environment using their own devices. It also alleviates pressure off of IT departments having to address computer issues at break-neck speed since employees have alternative means of continuing to be productive.
In the past, many of these devices were not equipped to use email encryption to improve email security, however, this is improving. The fear is that if any one of these devices was compromised as a result of being lost or otherwise, corporate information could be accessed and stolen, directly impacting a company's competiveness in their industry. Companies simply refused to allow personal device access to their network, sometimes even forbidding them to be brought to the workplace.
Times are changing and mobile vendors such as Apple are addressing this by implementing enterprise email encryption within their devices. Microsoft for example, just recently announced in February 2012 that they've entered a deal with security firm, Good Technology, to bring encrypted email to their Windows Phone.
Growing Compliance Pressure and Perceived Risk
Compliance to standards such as The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Payment Card Industry (PCI) continues to mount pressure for companies to adopt email encryption. As post-breach legal non-compliance penalties continue to make headlines, organizations are taking notice.
In 2010, Baseline reported that 88% of respondents had encountered at least one breach from the previous year, representing a 3-point increase from the previous year. WIth figures such as these, it's no wonder that according to Forrester Research in January 2012, 33% of companies have now implemented email encryption to combat security breaches and this figure continues to rise.
Availability of Managed Services Firewall Protection Increases
Managed services that provide an email firewall solution are also popping up everywhere these days. These hosted firewalls force compliance to established corporate security standards while promising a cost savings to organizations.
Managed firewall solutions are particularly attractive to small businesses that otherwise wouldn't be able to enforce email encryption due to the lack of time, expertise, and resources available. Typically these services can provide 24/7 monitoring, reporting, and IT consulting from a specialized team of security experts that can manage threats effectively.
We've discussed 3 growing trends of email security and encryption: bring your own devices, perceived risk of not being compliant, and managed services such as email firewall protection. As email is the lifeblood that flows through many organizations, they are tackling the necessity for encryption by partnering with IT consulting companies to efficiently close this security gap. It would appear that an era of leaked emails may be coming to an end very soon.