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On the First Anniversary of the Sony Mega Hack, Survey Finds Three in Five Americans More Worried About Email Security Than Prior to the Attack

Sony Attack Proves to Be a Wake-Up Call for Most Americans on the Inherent Vulnerabilities of Email Communications and the Need for Practical Data Security Solutions


November 24, 2015 08:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time
WASHINGTON–(Marketwired)– Today marks the one-year anniversary of the now historic cyberattack that crippled Sony Pictures.  Virtru, the easiest and most cost effective way to secure emails and files, commissioned a survey to determine if U.S. attitudes toward email security, online privacy and cyberattacks were heightened in the wake of one of the worst cyberattacks in corporate history. The survey tested the opinions of 1,025 Americans aged 18 and older and was conducted Nov. 10-11, 2015 by Regina Corso Consulting.

Among the key findings, almost seven in ten Americans (68%) say that they have begun to take steps to protect their privacy and security online. Looking specifically at the Sony breach, three in five U.S. adults (61%) say the hack was a wake-up call for them on the dangers of online security with nearly 60 percent of respondents (59%) sharing they are more worried about email security than they were prior to the attack on Sony.

The Sony Pictures electronic invasion by the Guardians of Peace (GOP), a group allegedly sponsored by North Korea, is a cautionary tale for any business or individual with high-value intellectual property or company secrets to protect. Hackers around the world have learned that email exposure can result in devastating losses. The disclosure of unreleased movies, embarrassing internal emails, and personal data — including Social Security Numbers of 47,000 celebrities and employees — underscores the inherent vulnerabilities of email communication and how an email hack can cost a company more than its reputation. Some have put the ongoing costs of the Sony breach in upwards of $1 billion.

Had Sony deployed an end-to-end email encryption service like Virtru, the fallout from this data breach would have been significantly reduced. In the wake of the attack, almost two-thirds of Americans (64%) now say they want to do more in the area of security and protection online but find it too complicated and/or too expensive to do so. Virtru has responded, offering the easiest, most secure way for individuals and businesses to protect and share sensitive information. Virtru’s encrypted email service works with existing email systems like Gmail, requires no heavyweight software or specialized skills, and users don’t need to be within a closed community or even on the same platform to trade secure messages.

In the immediate aftermath of the Sony breach, Virtru saw its business double. Today, the company has nearly 2,000 corporate customers across industry sectors and geographic regions, and continues to experience rapid month-over-month growth. Organizations across industry sectors, sizes, and geographies now use Virtru to ensure their employees and contractors can collaborate across different platforms and safely share, not only emails and documents, but also video, audio and images.

“As the Sony hack demonstrated, and our survey findings corroborate, people and businesses need practical email protections and they’re willing to take action,” said John Ackerly, CEO and Co-Founder of Virtru. “From small business owners to major healthcare institutions, individual citizens, universities and entertainment conglomerates — people want to protect themselves against the malicious activity of cybercriminals and control how their private email messages and attachments are distributed, who sees them and for how long.”

To download the free Virtru browser plug-in or mobile app, please visit https://www.virtru.com/get-secure-email

Survey methodology: This online survey was conducted by Regina Corso Consulting on behalf of Virtru between Nov. 10-11, 2015 among 1,025 U.S. adults, aged 18 and older. Figures for age, gender, education, income, employment and region were weighted to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated.

About Virtru
In an era where every data transfer is a potential data leak, Virtru makes it easy and affordable for everyone to protect their content. From individuals to large enterprises, Virtru lets people control who receives, reviews, and retains their information — wherever it travels, throughout its lifespan. Based on the open Trusted Data Format (TDF) created by Virtru Co-Founder Will Ackerly, the company’s Encryption-as-a-Service (EaaS) architecture integrates powerful data security directly into the applications we use every day. Learn more at www.virtru.com or follow @virtruprivacy on Twitter.