Why awareness is important for secure communication

Why awareness is important for secure communication

Updated on: 2/2/2021

"An accident is in a small corner" is a saying that we all know. However, we prefer not to use this. Not at all when it comes to sharing data with the wrong people. Over 281,000 data breach notifications have been reported across the 28 European Union Member States plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein since the GDPR came into force on 25th May 2018. In The Netherlands, 66% of data breaches were due to human errors. Awareness plays a major role in this. We are happy to explain how and why in this blog.

Germany, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom had the most reported data leaks, with 77,747, 66,527 and30,536 respectively.  According to DLA Pipers's latest annual General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) fines and data breach report of the 27 European Union Member States plus the UK, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, a total of EUR272.5 million (about USD332.4 million / GBP245.3 million) of fines have been imposed since the introduction of the GDPR.


Data breaches due to human errors

We communicate more and more, and more easily than before. With the current technologies we can reach almost everyone, in an accessible way. Think of applications such as Whatsapp or the chat functions on social media channels, where we can easily share data with each other. Or email, where you can easily compose and send a message. Ideal, right? Not entirely, if we consider security when sending this data.




The ease with which we share data also entails security risks . A congratulations message to a colleague is sent the same way as, for example, privacy-sensitive data of a client. The difference? The privacy sensitivity of information. Not only do we want to shield certain information from others, we also have to deal with mandatory safety standards. Think of the GDPR , which every organization in Europe has to deal with. In other words: as an organization, in addition to the desire to shield data, we also have a duty.

Although we are often aware of this, the data leaks continue to come in, and most mistakes are made by human mistakes. How? By simply sharing data with the wrong person. Not because it is our intention, but because we can make mistakes through inattention and the lack of awareness. So it's time for action!


Increase awareness, reduce the chance of mistakes

We all have to deal with it from time to time: external factors that make us slightly less sharp than usual. And that can happen until it comes to sharing sensitive information. Information you don't want shared with the wrong people. It is therefore important as an organization to reduce the chance of errors.

Is it possible to work safely without disturbing the work processes? It is a frequently asked question, because implementing new measures often costs a lot of time and money. However, this is possible if you choose the right solution for securing sensitive information. Especially if this is a solution that addresses the problem of lack of awareness.

Read more: Employees, the weakest link in Data Security: Tips that will help you

And as an organization you can make a profit from two angles, because: 

  • When working safely within the organization, you are in line with the applicable safety standards. And that is desirable, because not meeting the standards can have major consequences for you as an organization. Think of image damage, the nasty consequences for victims and the financial consequences for your business;

  • If your employees are more aware of the processing of information, the risk of errors is reduced . For example, using email means that the right data has to be shared with the right person. One way to achieve this is Machine Learning . This smart technology can ensure that the user receives notifications when composing a message, when privacy-sensitive data is recognized. Or additional security can be built in, by having the user confirm both receivers and attachments before shipping. This can prevent a message from being shared with people who are not allowed to view it.

In this way, the technical measures that you as an organization have to organize are taken off your hands. This saves you time, money and a lot of hassle afterwards.

"Prevention is better than cure", we believe in that!


How to choose the right secure email solution?

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