Security Threats Get Scarier. Can You Help?

An intriguing study conducted by Proofpoint, a provider of e-mail security solutions, suggests once again that specializing in security may be a great way to boost your IT career. Why? because threats are everywhere.

Of course, you’d expect a security solution provider to make scary claims, but the numbers, collected from a survey of 200 e-mail decision makers at U.S. companies with more than 1,000 employees, paint a chilling picture of corporate security threats.

As more companies reported their business was impacted by the exposure of sensitive or embarrassing information (34 percent, up from 23 percent in 2008), an increasing number, 38 percent, say they employ staff to read or otherwise analyze the contents of outbound e-mail.

Now that’s an interesting job description.Other survey highlights:

  • Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of large companies report that employee e-mail was subpoenaed in the past 12 months.
  • 43 percent had investigated an e-mail-based leak of confidential or proprietary information in the past 12 months.
  • 31 percent terminated an employee for violating e-mail policies in the same period (up from 26 percent in 2008).
  • 18 percent had investigated a data loss event via a blog or message board in the past 12 months.
  • 17 percent disciplined an employee for violating blog or message board policies, while nearly nine percent reported terminating an employee for such a violation.
  • 42 percent say that increasing numbers of layoffs at their organizations in the past 12 months have created an increased risk of data leakage.
  •  47 percent report that layoffs of IT staff have negatively impacted their organization’s ability to protect confidential, proprietary and sensitive information in the past 12 months.
  • 50 percent say that budget constraints have negatively impacted their organization’s ability to protect confidential, proprietary or sensitive information in the past 12 months.

To download a free copy of Proofpoint’s complete report, go here.

Don Willmott

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