Businesses which choose to send confidential documents by courier and postal services are at greater risk of confidentiality threats such as theft, damage and loss compared to other methods of communication according to the results of a recent experiment conducted by LogicaCMG.
The experiment compared seven methods of communication including courier, post, special delivery, fax, email, secure encrypted email, and even carrier pigeons, against a variety of factors including cost, time, condition of arrival and environmental impact. It revealed that, with the exception of carrier pigeons, common courier and postal services were the least effective form of sending confidential information. Although couriers are the preferred method for the majority of businesses in the UK with 46% confessing to spending over Â£50,000 per year, the results placed it as the most costly and environmentally damaging as well as facing greater risk of loss, damage and interception when compared to other methods.
Despite the recent media attention devoted to online security threats such as phishing and pharming, it is the more trusted traditional methods that are leaving UK businesses open to unanticipated threats. Secure, encrypted email proved to be the safest method of communicating confidential information with minimal risks, cost or measurable environmental impact. While standard email had a low environmental impact, it is not legally binding or secure â unless it is encrypted.
Dave Martin, Managing Security Consultant at LogicaCMG, comments on the findings; âTraditional methods provide a false sense of security for a lot of businesses, but what the majority donât realise, and what this experiment illustrates, is that couriers and post can be one of the most risky â and most expensive â forms of transporting confidential information. Not to mention the effect on the environment with the use of excess paper, fuel and carbon emissions as well as the time it takes to deliver documents and acquire a valid recipient signature.â
Martin continues, âWhat is most interesting is that although email is the default method of everyday business communication, it still isnât being used for the communication of confidential information â or, where it is, it isnât necessarily being secured. Secure email products offer the most effective form of communicating confidential information. Initial investment is minimal, itâs legally binding and safe as well as having virtually no impact on the environment. With online threats on the rise, it is increasingly important that Internet security providers (ISPs) start offering secure email services, especially to business customers. In fact, according to results of a survey of leading ISP providers last month, 93% agreed that banks should provide secure email to customers to help combat the spread of online fraud*. Whatâs confusing is why more businesses havenât yet adopted the technology.â