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Zix Corporation and Ponemon Institute Survey Reveals Risk and Frustration with Outdated Email Encryption Solutions
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Study finds everyday email practices and mobile email security contribute to data loss and compliance risks

DALLAS, Sep 20, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Zix Corporation (ZixCorp), (NASDAQ: ZIXI), the leader in email encryption services, and Ponemon Institute announced the results of its first study, "The State of Email Encryption." The study examined how companies perceived email risks and what factors, if any, drove concerns about data loss and compliance risks.

After receiving feedback from 830 IT and IT security practitioners, as well as IT compliance, legal and other specialists, The Ponemon Institute found everyday email practices and mobile email security caused significant concerns for data protection and regulatory compliance.

When examining everyday email practices, the study found:

  • The majority of respondents strongly agree or agree that the use of email by employees is one of the main sources of data leakage in their organizations
  • Seventy percent of respondents are concerned about the loss of information via email on mobile devices

Based on survey results, respondents believe employee behavior continues to place organizations at risk.

  • Nearly 70 percent believe employees ignore policies about emailing unencrypted sensitive or confidential documents through insecure channels
  • More than 60 percent believe employees mistakenly send unencrypted confidential information to other recipient(s) outside the workplace (63 percent)
  • More than 60 percent believe employees send unencrypted confidential information through insecure email channels, such as personal Web-based email

"Email is essential to business productivity and collaboration. It is such a significant tool that employees are inclined to circumvent policy and email sensitive information, so they can effectively perform their responsibilities in a timely manner," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, Chairman and Founder of Ponemon Institute. "Companies can prevent such data breaches and relieve compliance concerns by using policy-based email encryption, which enables email capabilities and removes employee liabilities."

As more business is conducted outside the office, mobile security has gained considerable attention as a potential threat to data protection and compliance. The study revealed 70 percent of respondents are concerned with data loss via mobile email. As a result of this concern and the complexity of email encryption on mobile devices, less than one-third (31 percent) of respondents have ever opened an encrypted email on a mobile device.

"Mobile security adds yet another layer of complexity for security and compliance professionals," said Rick Spurr, ZixCorp Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "As they manage concerns regarding mobile access to networks, social networks and the latest app, mobile email does not have to be another risk or headache. With new technology, encrypted, mobile email can be as convenient as a single click. As a result, the security community can not only protect data but foster business communication without worry."

Other key findings in the state of email encryption study included:

  • More than 50 percent of companies with email encryption have had their solution for at least four years
  • Ease of use for senders and receivers was a significant factor in choosing a solution, with 68 percent and 71 percent, respectively, viewing it as important or very important
  • However, for companies with email encryption, more than half believed senders and receivers were frustrated with their current solution

"The email encryption market is in an interesting state. Companies that have valued email encryption for years are stuck using outdated technology, as compared to companies just entering the market that are taking advantage of next-generation email encryption," said Spurr. "As vendor contracts expire in the next 24 to 48 months, many companies have the opportunity to select a solution that reduces their voiced frustration and satisfies their demands for easy-to-use security."

The Ponemon Institute and ZixCorp will review the findings further in a live webcast on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. CT). To register for the event, please visit http://www.zixcorp.com/thought-leader/survey.

About The Ponemon Institute

The Ponemon Institute is dedicated to advancing responsible information and privacy management practices in business and government. To achieve this objective, the Institute conducts independent research, educates leaders from the private and public sectors and verifies the privacy and data protection practices of organizations in a variety of industries.

About Zix Corporation

Zix Corporation provides the only email encryption services designed with your most important relationships in mind. The most influential companies and government organizations use the proven ZixCorp(R) Email Encryption Services, including WellPoint, Humana, the SEC and more than 1,200 hospitals and 1,500 financial institutions. ZixCorp Email Encryption Services are powered by ZixDirectory(R), the largest email encryption community in the world. The tens of millions of ZixDirectory members can feel secure knowing their most important relationships are protected. For more information, visit http://www.zixcorp.com.

SOURCE: Zix Corporation

Zix Corporation
Taylor Stansbury Johnson, 214-370-2134
tstansbury@zixcorp.com