In 2012, the Office of the California Attorney General (AG) began collecting information on any data breach that involved more than 500 Californians. Last week, the AG Office announced the results and issued a report that should grab the attention of any organization -- inside or outside of California -- that holds personal information of California residents.
The 2012 Results
•2.5 million Californians had their personal information compromised by an electronic data breach
•Breaches affecting 1.4 million Californians could have been prevented if companies had encrypted data when moving or sending it outside the company’s network
•28 percent of the data breaches would not have required notification if the companies had encrypted the data
California AG Response to Results
The AG highly recommended that companies use encryption when transmitting personal information outside of an organization’s secure network. The announcement went further to note that “The Attorney General’s Office will make it an enforcement priority to investigate breaches involving unencrypted personal information.”
An Easy Next Step
Email is the main communication method for business and a top source of data leaks. That’s not surprising when you think about how many business emails and attachments are sent daily to customers, business partners and other outside organizations. What may be a surprise is how easy email encryption can be for administrators and users.
For administrators, the right email encryption can be:
•Installed in less than four hours
•Maintained through Software-as-a-Service with minimal impact on your resources
•Strengthened with automatic scanning by policies that protect sensitive data based on California and other state regulations, as well HIPAA, HITECH, GLBA and other federal regulations
•Monitored through a modern dashboard with access to dozens of reports
•Supported by a SOC3/SysTrust certified, SOC2 accredited and PCI Level 1, DSS V2.0 certified data center
Most importantly, the right email encryption can provide your users with:
•Secure email as easy as regular email – without any extra steps or passwords for both senders AND receivers
•A seamless, convenient experience from desktops to smartphones to tablets
The California AG announced an agenda to prioritize the investigation of breaches involving unencrypted personal information. As you consider encryption to mitigate the risk of investigations and potential fines, go one step farther and choose a solution that makes it easy to protect sensitive information.