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What Can Big Data Teach Us About Email Encryption?

Even after several decades, email remains our primary communication strategy, keeping people connected both personally and professionally. Unfortunately, because of its continued prominence, hackers and other scammers have had years to develop advanced strategies; over 100 new types of malware emerged in 2017 alone. We must rely on lessons from big data to combat these attacks and guard against new ones before they emerge.

The End-To-End Evolution

Most experienced computer users can spot a traditional scam – the Nigerian prince ploys and money laundering schemes, which is why the real threat today are attacks that occur in the background. Developing end-to-end email and data encryption strategies that protect against attempted interceptions or database hacks is the only way to guard against the data loss we can’t see. But whose data do we turn to?

On the in-house level, SAP’s Data Hub provides important data distribution and pipelining information as well as enhanced data governance overall. This kind of information can help your business identify weak points within the organization, including identifying specific users whose data security practices are sub-part. As businesses in the US align with the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines, in-house accountability data will be necessary to establish client trust and minimize liability.

Add on Approaches

In addition to in-house data management through programs like SAP’s Data Hub, business will also need adaptable security strategies that apply to external communications. On the most basic level, though, data demonstrates that users won’t use security solutions that introduce even minimal friction into the email process. Solutions need to be straightforward and automatic. That’s where Virtru comes in.

Virtru is designed to provide end-to-end encryption in conjunction with mainstream programs like Microsoft 365, and to be compatible with a range of end-user programs. With end-to-end encryption, messages and data are thoroughly contained, guarded by a key against everyone besides the sender and recipient. It’s a data loss protection system and precisely what our increased understanding of data theft calls for.

Ongoing Action

Some data experts doubt whether universal end-to-end encryption is possible or even worth pursuing, but even if people aren’t concerned about their personal correspondence, businesses face significant financial penalties for unsecured data. Solutions such as machine learning can help circumvent such harms by modeling current attacks and predicting upcoming. It can also, in the vein of SAP’s Data Hub, identify common human errors, acting preventatively around risk, not just defensively.

95% of data loss stems from human error, which is why big data’s high tech interventions are so important. These tools are helping businesses evolve minimal effort approaches to data security. Even if we never reach the point where end-to-end encryption is a normal part of messaging, all businesses can take steps toward better employee training and solution development. The less effort involved in security, the more likely it is to be effective.

Big data is only as useful as the solutions it produces, but too much of what we know is left fallow – it’s not actionable. It’s time to make security top priority for data applications, but it will take a multifaceted approach to make this happen at the corporate level.

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