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23 May 2008, 13:36

Large US corporations monitor their employees' emails

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In order to find information leaks, many large US corporations monitor their employees' outbound emails. Forty-four per cent of the companies with more than 20,000 employees surveyed by email provider Proofpoint stated that they employ staff to read or otherwise analyse these emails. Two years ago, only 40 per cent did so. Twenty-two per cent of the companies surveyed employ staff primarily or exclusively to fulfil this function.

The US study surveyed 301 IT managers in companies with 1000 or more employees. According to a press release, 40 per cent of those surveyed stated that they had investigated how confidential business information could reach unauthorised recipients via email in the past twelve months. Twenty-three per cent of the companies stated that employee contracts had been terminated due to instances of leakage.

Other communication channels also put confidential business information at risk. Eleven per cent of those surveyed stated that they penalised employees for divulging confidential business information such as financial data in web logs or forums. A similarly high proportion dealt with the improper use of social networking sites and file sharing portals. Twenty-seven per cent of respondents investigated the loss of sensitive data via mobile devices. According to the press release, the study did not investigate information leaks resulting from sending unencrypted business emails.


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