outbound email data breach risk represented by a blue background with lighter blue envelopes on it and one red envelope i a target circle

by Kevin Lancaster

Are you considering your outbound email data breach risk in your security calculus?


We tend to think of cybersecurity threats as something that comes into a business – phishing, hacking, credential stuffing, ransomware. But there’s also cybersecurity risk in things that go out of your business, like email. Insider threats include employee errors, even if it’s non-malicious. Mitigating outbound email data breach risk has got to be on your cybersecurity radar, especially if you’re supporting a remote workforce.


To Err is Human


The number one cause of a data breach never changes – it’s humans. We misclick, we hurry to finish something, we’re distracted and boom, we’ve sent the wrong client’s file with that email. When that happens internally, it’s not much of a problem. But it becomes a whole different ball game when you accidentally send the wrong client’s file to an outside vendor or another client. That becomes a data breach.

While an external email data breach isn’t usually as big of a headache as a cybercrime-related data breach, it can be. Just ask Swedish insurance giant Folksam. Personally identifying information (PII) and sensitive data including medical data for approximately 1 million customers was accidentally shared with Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other companies when an employee mishandled an internal marketing analysis.

What drives staffers to become accidental insider threats by making mistakes like sending data to the wrong person. In a recent study, British email security experts analyzed why staffers make mistakes when sending outbound email. Their findings included some enlightening facts about the potential for staffers to make outgoing email mistakes:

  • 93% of IT leaders surveyed said that their organization had suffered data breaches through outbound email in the last 12 months.
  • On average, an outbound email data breach occurs every 12 working hours.
  • Companies are currently sending 94% more email because of COVID-19
  • 80% of outbound email data breaches were caused by the wrong file attached to an email or the wrong recipient added to an email
  • Sensitive data has been put at risk by an outbound data breach at more than 90% of companies.

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Remote Workers Up the Risk


Suddenly, everyone was remote working this year – and not many companies were ready for it. While many businesses had at least some remote work capability set up for staffers who were sick or traveling, they often didn’t have the security measures in place to support the entire staff working remotely full-time. Which left them vulnerable to myriad threats that they hadn’t had to make a priority in the pre-pandemic era.

That led to a rise in all sorts of cybercrime as bad actors took advantage of the chaos. Phishing, ransomware, skimming, hacking, and all sorts of cyberattacks ramped up in danger and frequency, leading to a record year for cybercrime. It also led to an increase in outbound email data breach risk, because workers that are off their game for one reason or another (like dealing with massive societal upheaval during a pandemic) are workers that make cybersecurity mistakes.

  • 37% of employees are more likely to make mistakes when they’re tired or stressed
  • 35% of the survey respondents said that they make more mistakes when they’re working remotely
  • 29% said that they’ve made an external email error by failing to use BCC
  • 27% admitted that they’d screwed up by relying on autocomplete
  • 29% of the respondents also said that they’d failed to redact sensitive information in an outgoing email.


Secure Your Business from Outgoing Email Data Breach Risks at a Great Price


One simple solution that really packs a punch against outgoing email data breach risk is Passly. Not only is secure identity and access management is an essential component of keeping sensitive information out of hackers who break in but it’s also an essential for keeping people out of data that they’re not supposed to see. CISOs around the world also agree that secure identity and access management has to be a top priority for 2021 because of its versatility in protecting data from multiple risks at once.

A solution like Passly is extremely effective for guarding access points into your systems and data. Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a strong safeguard against unauthorized access to sensitive data that accidentally gets sent to the wrong person. You may have sent a client a link to a Word document with your customer list, but with multifactor authentication working for you, they can’t access that document without logging into your system using a token or code that they won’t have

The single sign-on (SSO) feature that’s standard with Passly is a big help in controlling the access points to your data as well. If you accidentally send a link to a database of client payment information to a contractor who has access to some of your systems and data, single sign-on means that they won’t be able to get into it if their user access LaunchPad isn’t authorized for that application.



Get Multiple Security Enhancements in One Solution


When you choose Passly as your secure identity and access management solution, you don’t just get these two tools to secure your systems and data. Passly also includes important security features like secure shared password vaults, easy remote management, and seamless integration with more than 1,000 popular business applications. Plus it’s ideal for supporting a remote workforce.

The dynamic security boost that you get from the multitool functionality that’s the hallmark of Passly saves you money too. Instead of buying multiple solutions to add MFA and SSO and secure shared password vaults, with Passly you only need to buy one solution that won’t break the bank. Which means that every business can afford to mitigate the risk of an outgoing email data breach or another cybersecurity disaster with Passly. Contact an expert at ID Agent today to get a live or virtual demonstration of the functionality you’ll love as you put Passly to work for your business. SEE A VIDEO DEMO OF PASSLY NOW>>


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