Egress released its 2020 Outbound Email Data Breach Report, which highlights the true scale of data security risks related to email use. 93% of leaders surveyed said that their organisation had suffered data breaches through outbound email in the last 12 months. 

Rising outbound email volumes due to COVID-19-related remote working and the digitization of manual processes are also contributing to escalating risk. 94% of respondents reported an increase in email traffic since the onset of COVID-19 and 70% believe that working remotely increases the risk of sensitive data being put at risk from outbound email data breaches.

The study, independently conducted by Arlington Research on behalf of Egress, interviewed 538 senior managers responsible for IT security in the UK and US across vertical sectors including financial services, healthcare, banking and legal.

Key insights from respondents include:

  • 93% had experienced data breaches via outbound email in the past 12 months.
  • Organisations reported at least an average of 180 incidents per year when sensitive data was put at risk, equating to approximately one every 12 working hours.
  • The most common breach types were replying to spear-phishing emails (80%); emails sent to the wrong recipients (80%); incorrect file attachments (80%).
  • 62% rely on people-led reporting to identify outbound email data breaches.
  • 94% of surveyed organisations have seen outbound email volume increase during COVID-19. 68% say they have seen increases of between 26 and 75%.
  • 70% believe that remote working raises the risk of sensitive data being put at risk from outbound email data breaches.