After the British ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, lost his job as a result of information leaks, the emphasis on email management is back on the agenda.
The leak highlighted the extremely poor management of sensitive information held within emails and the risks it poses: “People are getting access to essentially secret documents or more sensitive material because of delegated access”. According to Bomberg, who created a report on UK government departments, “delegated access to emails is one of the key problems facing the civil service”.
The same applies in most industries, particularly project-based industries such as in the AEC and those that hold plenty of sensitive data within their email. Despite this, email management is often overlooked when it comes to document management strategies.
Why should email management be a key part of your document management?
Following the GDPR and the latest round of fines for information leaks, it is clear that many businesses need to take their email management a lot more seriously. At a very basic level, you need emails available by project and by person.
What’s the risk? Data leaks are a massive challenge for most businesses. Marriott International is set to be fined over £99m after it left the personal information of up to half a billion guests exposed to hackers. And the ICO has also announced its plans to fine British Airways a record £183m fine for a similar breach. And with the vast majority of project correspondence, both internally and externally, being done via email, there is a lot of sensitive data being lost or exposed.
With an email management solution, employees habitually use email to store and send critical documents, sacrificing accessibility, security and traceability. Ask yourself, have you ever had to frantically search your inbox for a file someone had previously sent to you, or you had sent to someone else? To operate securely, digital information needs to be consolidated in a central location as much as possible. When it comes to email, the first step is to improve visibility and control. Only then will you be able to confidently manage emails for discovery, audit, governance, and compliance needs, at speed.
Email management processes can improve the flow of information and reduce the risk of regulatory fines, data leaks, lost information, reputational damage and more.
So, if email represents the majority of your correspondence but you've never challenged how it's managed, it’s time to question the status quo.
Don’t be risk reactive, be risk ready.
Here are five ways to regain control of your email:
- Make sure sensitive emails are stored in a way that matches your protocols for other documents
- Restrict access for those who can view and read emails
- Deliver an overnight, cost-effective replacement for your existing system
- Ensure uniformity over processes, such as email archiving
- Be able to find all correspondence associated with a person or project