E-mail remains the top source of data loss, survey finds

Proofpoint's report says losses via social media are on the rise

The potential threat to organizations’ data via employees’ use of social media is on the rise, but the most common vehicle for data loss is still old-fashioned e-mail. Proofpoint, an e-mail security and data loss prevention company, recently released its seventh annual security survey, conducted by Osterman Reasearch during June and July. The results were gathered from 261 responses from companies with 1,000 or more employees.

The survey asked respondents to identify the most common areas investigated for potential data leaks. Although e-mail remains the top concern, other sources increasingly pose a threat.


Sources of investigations of potential leaks

  • E-mail, 35 percent
  • Blog or message board posting, 25 percent
  • Lost or stolen mobile device or storage media, 22 percent
  • Employee leaving the company, 21 percent
  • Post on a social networking site, 20 percent
  • Video or audio files posted to a media sharing site, 18 percent
  • Short messaging services, such as text messages and Twitter, 17 percent

Source: Proofpoint

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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