[ISN] Big companies employing snoopers for staff email
isn at c4i.org
Wed Jul 21 09:49:35 EDT 2004
By Jo Best
July 19 2004
Large companies are now so concerned about the contents of the
electronic communications leaving their offices that they're employing
staff to read employees' outgoing emails.
According to research from Forrester Consulting, 44 per cent of large
corporations in the US now pay someone to monitor and snoop on what's
in the company's outgoing mail, with 48 per cent actually regularly
auditing email content.
The Proofpoint-sponsored study found the motivation for the mail
paranoia was mostly due to fears that employees were leaking
confidential memos and other sensitive information, such as
intellectual property or trade secrets, with 76 per cent of IT
decision makers concerned about the former and 71 per cent concerned
about the latter.
Porn and ropey jokes still figure on the list of concerns for execs,
though, with 64 per cent admitting to worrying about "inappropriate
content and attachments" on the emails.
What worries those in charge of tech most about their staff emails
differs depending on the size of the business, the study found.
The smaller the enterprise, the more likely it was to worry more about
attachments and less likely to be troubled by the possibility the
email won't be up to compliance standards set by Sarbanes-Oxley and
Understandably, with Basel II and similar looming, financial services
was the vertical that is the most concerned with meeting compliance
targets - as they should be, it appears. A survey of UK financial
institutions found that around half would be unable to find an email
over three years old; storing email is a key demand of the new
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