As a business owner, it’s important to keep your company’s sensitive information safe and secure. One area often overlooked is sending and receiving contracts via email. While it’s a convenient and efficient way to conduct business, using email poses a significant cybersecurity risk in protecting the access to your organization’s sensitive information and data whether shared internally or externally.
In today’s digital world where more employees work remotely and also utilize mobile devices to conduct business, controlling the access to and the replication of sensitive data is a growing challenge. The latter challenge is often referred to as data sprawl. The work from home trend has blurred network boundaries resulting in less control of the company’s information when it resides on a computer at an employee’s home. Compounding the problem is the proliferation of mobile devices. When an email is sent containing sensitive information to a remote employee or business partner it’s not just landing in the inbox of their primary work computer but also on their mobile devices. That sensitive document now exists on multiple devices and at multiple locations. Should the employee or business partner in turn share the document with others via email the problem continues to grow. Without the ability to restrict who, when, where and how a document is accessed, the company’s data becomes increasing vulnerable to unauthorized access and/or theft.
Why sending contracts via email poses a cybersecurity risk
In addition to the challenge of data sprawl, email itself is not a secure method of communication. Most email providers and email client servers do have some level of data security in place. The level of security, however, varies from provider to provider and server to server. As a result, they become high value targets for attack by hackers and bad actors. And the process itself of sending an email means it is making multiple hops through the network and thus vulnerable to middle attacks along its journey to the recipient.
In short, the challenge of data sprawl coupled with the vulnerabilities associated with email means the risk of your contracts becoming compromised increases every time someone hits the send or forward button on an email.
The statistics on the prevalence of email-based cyberattacks are alarming. If you don’t think you need to worry, these three statistics revealed in a study by Varonis the might change your mind.
- 58 percent of companies found more than 1,000 folders that had inconsistent permissions
- Only five percent of a company’s folders are protected.
- Each employee has access to an average of 11 million files. For large organizations, this number is almost double at 20 million.
The IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index estimates that 35% of email exploitation activity involves man-in-the-middle attacks, or cyberattacks where data is secretly intercepted and decrypted by a bad actor. These statistics demonstrate the significant risks that businesses face when sending contracts via email.
How data rights-based encryption makes email secure
There are several steps every company can take to protect themselves from the data security risks of sending contracts via email. One of the easiest things you can do is apply a data rights management (DRM) solution that includes encryption capabilities.
Data rights management allows businesses to control access to their sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access or sharing. This can help to prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to your contracts and other sensitive information, even if they manage to intercept your emails.
A good data rights management solution should include your ability to encrypt the data and require recipients to authenticate themselves before they can access it. This ensures only authorized users can view or edit the data and prevents anyone else from accessing it without permission.
DRM can also help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your contract management processes. Many DRM solutions include features such as electronic signatures, workflow automation, and document tracking, which can help to streamline your contract management process and reduce the risk of errors or delays.
Overall, using DRM software with encryption capabilities can provide an additional layer of security for your business when sending contracts via email. By encrypting your data and controlling access to it, DRM can prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to your sensitive information and protect your data from the risks of email-based attacks.
The challenge is that many DRM solutions with encryption are expensive, impact your IT infrastructure or workflow, and/or require the deployment of the maintaining of key management servers. You can overcome all of these concerns with EB Control. Simple to deploy, simple to use, no key management required and affordable. With a data rights-based encryption solution like EB Control, you can affordably and easily continue to leverage the ease of email AND eliminate the cybersecurity risk to your business data.