If you've ever wondered what keeps companies from implementing effective enterprise email management solutions, look no further. MessageGate, a company that works to facilitate Enterprise email risk management through email controls, has released the results of a survey that sought to highlight the limitations of existing email management and security solutions. The Network WorldBusiness Intelligence survey revealed a growing gap in enterprise email management solutions, which as a result are hindering compliance measures in the face of growing regulatory mandates.
Recently, we had the opportunity to talk with MessageGate's Vice President of Marketing and Business, Chris Bradley about the survey results and their implications among enterprise email management.
Non-Compliance and Uncertainty
The report’s findings exposed purchasing patterns in email management and security software that indicated a potential weakness in overall enterprise email security as IT and security professionals struggle to meet compliance measures. More specifically, the root cause of non-compliance seems to stem from a general lack of understanding about the importance and significance of accurate retrieval of email or the real-time review and management, as well as an uncertainly about compliance policies and if there are existing solutions meeting those needs.
Considering that the survey respondents represented a sampling of IT and security professionals in North America who manage their company’s inbound and outbound email management and security systems, and are a part of companies with more than 10,000 employees, this can't be good for business.
For highly-regulated industries, like financial, healthcare, energy and manufacturing, it is imperative to have effective enterprise management solutions hard at work monitoring the flow of e-communications, as well as overseeing the access of documents and management of stored files.
Good thing MessageGate works to help implement the exact strategies and solutions needed to remedy the situations exposed in the survey.
Originally a part of Boeing, MessageGate once designed and implemented internal solutions that provided email filtering. As a member of the marketplace, MessageGate now provides policy enforcement as well as email solutions, like spam filtering and archive categorization. They serve those who work in highly-regulated industries to help them enforce and comply with industry and company-wide policies and guidelines.
To successfully address weaknesses in current email security, MessageGate offered the following proactive steps to help enterprises meet compliance regulations and prevent email misuse:
# Provide real-time blocking and re-routing of outbound emails
# Ease accurate retrieval of archived email
# Manage employee email misuse
# Reduce email archive storage costs
# Analyze email usage and patterns
# Eliminate unwanted email
However, before any of these steps can be taken, Bradley encourages companies to take a proactive approach first by educating employees about the policies that need to be enforced and what steps will be taken to enforce them.
Effectively following through is key to managing emails and the flow of information. Most companies, he notes, implement solutions but do not manage them properly, if at all.
Through a broad assessment, email messages are categorized and tagged according to specific criteria determined by the company. Content can be searched using static or dynamic keywords. A context can be established, building a policy of possible actions that can occur if sent from a specific person or tagged with a certain importance, as to ensure successful review and confirmation.
Not only does such a process protect against sensitive information from being leaked, it also provides an electronic trail that can be useful with search and discovery and other litigation procedures, should they arise.
A Financial Crisis and More Education
While their survey makes it clear that "many enterprises have not yet committed to integrating a viable, long-term approach to email risk management, despite the frequent headlines touting flagrant compliance breaches due to email misuse", Bradley is hopeful for the future. He thinks that in the next few years users will know more about policy enforcement.
Although he acknowledges that the current financial crisis will provide a much-needed swift kick in the behind, he is more confident that education will be the key to improving implementation and management of solutions at the enterprise level.
A follow-up survey has not yet been developed, but Bradley would be interested in tracking progress over the next few years. He encourages companies to tackle issues of governance from a cultural point of view, as well as technical, because workplace environments vary and may already have behaviors specific to their industry or employees, which could make it easier to track.
He also advises going after the most pressing issues of policy enforcement first, so as to nip potentially risky behaviors in the bud before others develop. And they will develop -- unless of course, you heed the survey's warning.
To learn more about MessageGate visit www.messagegate.com.
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