“How are we going to measure this?” It’s a question every executive asks when faced with the decision of approving the implementation of new technology, and it’s a question you should be asking yourself before you roll out, or improve, your email security strategy. Just like any other new business initiative, an email security overhaul has its own implications for your organization. So, in order to ensure that your email security strategy is effective and valuable, we break it down into four measures of success.
The first—and we would argue most critical—measure of success is user adoption as “business as usual,” meaning members of your organization don’t have to put any additional thought into it. Take for example, passwords. When you sit down at your computer and access a system, you expect to enter a username and password. It’s a requirement these days and that’s business as usual. You don’t care or worry about it, you just do it. When it comes to secure email, once the users are able to say, “I get it. I understand it. I can use it. I expect it to be there as part of my workflow”, that is a significant measure of success.
Virtru enables a seamless user experience which is a must-have for user adoption. Why? Because regardless of the solution you deploy, employees still need to be productive and complete their work. If your email solution doesn’t fit in seamlessly to their everyday workflow, employees will find workarounds that inhibit widespread adoption and weaken security.
The best way to get adoption of anything, not just security, but really any technology or concept is for an individual to see value. This brings us to our second measure of success: recognition of security’s value. If you, or your stakeholders, are having trouble finding the value, focus on your personal life first. If you can demonstrate the value of security for your own personal information or your family’s personal data, then the application to a professional setting will come easier.
In order to have a better understanding of the importance and value of a secure email strategy, you must first understand that email platforms do have problems—breaches and hacks do occur and even the most modern email platforms aren’t secure by default, so adding an additional layer of security with end-to-end encryption is mission critical.
A successful email strategy can also be measured by a reduction in data leakage. Email security plays a big role in ensuring that your organization’s data is not leaked on the internet, through data breaches or by landing in the wrong hands. Take a step back and think about how frequently members of your organization send attachments via email to internal distribution lists, or out to third-parties with sensitive information included. This exposes your organization to major—and unnecessary—risk. Demonstrate to your stakeholders that by enabling secure email solutions, such as end-to-end encryption for Gmail or Microsoft, you can mitigate those risks and make it harder for data to be exfiltrated from the organization.
We’ve seen the virality and mobility of data go up exponentially in recent years so modern organizations have to accept the reality that data is going to move. Rather than taking a detect-and-block stance on preventing data leakage, consider a detect-allow-and-control approach. This opens your success criteria to match more modern cloud ecosystems.
Finally, seek out a third-party to perform an audit of your security posture. A positive report from an auditor or examiner showing that your organization is meeting compliance requirements and contractual expectations can also help to demonstrate the necessary ROI to stakeholders.
At the end of the day, remember that all of this means nothing if your security solution is not usable. Encryption on its own is simply not enough—protection is not the end goal. You need to combine that protection with control, audit and visibility. Ultimately, user-friendliness is vital to the success of your secure email strategy.
Want to learn more about how Virtru can give you the control, auditability and visibility needed to complete your email security strategy? Speak to one of our experts.
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