Risks of Emailing Confidential Documents and How to Mitigate Them

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Email is a vital tool for business communication, but sending confidential files via email can expose your organization to significant security risks. In this post, we’ll explore these risks and introduce PlanetVerify as a secure solution for sending sensitive information.

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Why Email Security Matters

email security

Did you know that over 90% of cyberattacks start with an email? With businesses averaging $1.6 million in recovery costs after a breach, securing your email communications is more critical than ever.

Key Security Risks of Sending Confidential Files via Email

  1. Interception and Unauthorized Access
    • Risk: Emails can be intercepted by cybercriminals, especially if unencrypted, allowing attackers to read and misuse sensitive information. Even encrypted emails are at risk if the recipient’s account is compromised.
    • Example: A financial services firm faced a data breach after an employee sent sensitive client information via unencrypted email. The email was intercepted, leading to significant financial losses and reputational damage.
  2. Phishing Attacks
    • Risk: Cybercriminals often pose as legitimate entities to trick recipients into revealing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. This can lead to data breaches, financial loss, and damage to your organisation’s reputation.
    • Example: An employee received an email that appeared to be from their bank, requesting verification of account details. The link led to a phishing site, and the employee’s credentials were stolen.
  3. Malware
    • Risk: Malicious software can be delivered via email attachments or links, leading to data theft or damage to your systems.
    • Example: An employee opened an attachment from an unknown sender, resulting in a ransomware attack that encrypted company data and demanded a ransom.
  4. Email Spoofing
    • Risk: Attackers send emails that appear to be from trusted sources, tricking recipients into disclosing sensitive information or downloading malware.
    • Example: A business executive received a spoofed email appearing to be from a colleague, requesting financial information that was subsequently misused.
  5. Email Bombing
    • Risk: Attackers flood an email inbox with a large number of emails, overwhelming the system and causing it to crash, leading to lost productivity.
    • Example: A customer service center was targeted by an email bombing attack, disrupting their ability to respond to legitimate customer inquiries.
  6. Weak Passwords
    • Risk: Employees using weak, easily guessed passwords or reusing passwords across multiple accounts can lead to unauthorized access to email accounts.
    • Example: A weak password was exploited, giving attackers access to sensitive email communications and leading to a significant data breach.

Is It Safe to Send Documents via Email?

While convenient, email is not inherently secure for transmitting sensitive information. Without adequate security measures, it poses substantial risks. However, with proper precautions and the right tools, it can be made safer.

Introducing PlanetVerify for Secure Document Exchange

PlanetVerify is a secure, efficient, and user-friendly solution designed to address the risks associated with emailing confidential documents. It provides a robust platform for verifying identities and sharing sensitive information securely.

Key Features of PlanetVerify

End-to-End Encryption

PlanetVerify ensures that all data transmitted is encrypted from the sender to the recipient, preventing unauthorized access during transmission.

Secure Document Storage

Documents are stored securely with advanced encryption standards, ensuring that only authorized parties can access them.

Identity Verification

PlanetVerify offers built-in identity verification processes to ensure that the person receiving the documents is indeed the intended recipient.

Compliance and Audit Trails

PlanetVerify helps businesses comply with data protection regulations by providing comprehensive audit trails and compliance support.

How to Securely Send Documents via PlanetVerify

Using PlanetVerify, you can ensure that all your customer documents are collected in a secure and encrypted manner. Getting set up on PlanetVerify is simple and intuitive. Users build templates containing the list of data items and documents they need to collect from their customers. The template is used to send a data request to the customer who can access a secure link to securely upload their sensitive files.

Secure Document Exchange Alternatives

Secure File Transfer Services with PlanetVerify

Opt for PlanetVerify’s secure file transfer services for sharing sensitive information. PlanetVerify offers encryption and controlled access, significantly reducing the risk of unauthorized access.

Virtual Private Networks (VPN)

Using a VPN adds an extra layer of security when sending documents via email. It encrypts your internet connection, making it more difficult for hackers to intercept your communications.

Steps to Use a VPN:

  • Choose a reputable VPN service.
  • Install the VPN on your device.
  • Connect to the VPN before sending your email.

Implementing Security Policies and Training

Establish Clear Policies

Develop and enforce policies that dictate what type of information can be sent via email and what must be sent through more secure channels like PlanetVerify. Ensure that employees understand these policies and the importance of adhering to them.

Example Policy Guidelines:

  • Prohibit sending sensitive information via unencrypted email.
  • Require the use of secure file transfer services like PlanetVerify for confidential documents.

Employee Training

Regularly train employees on email security best practices, such as recognising phishing attempts, verifying sender information, and using secure methods for sending sensitive information through PlanetVerify.

Training Topics:

  • Identifying phishing emails.
  • Using PlanetVerify for encryption and secure document exchange.
  • Safe handling of sensitive information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I trust free email encryption services?

A: Free services can offer basic encryption, but for higher security, consider using PlanetVerify, which provides robust features and support.

Q: What should I do if I suspect an email is a phishing attempt?

A: Do not click any links or open attachments. Report the email to your IT department immediately.

Conclusion

Sending sensitive documents via email can be risky, but with the right measures and tools like PlanetVerify, you can mitigate these risks. Encrypting emails, using secure file transfer services, and implementing robust security policies are essential steps to protect your organization’s confidential information.

If you would like to learn more about PlanetVerify, please reach out today!

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