Why Email is Everyone’s Business

Jan 11, 2017

For over two decades the world has used email on a daily basis.  Companies rely on this method of communication for every aspect of their business.  Some companies recognize its importance immediately and some only recognize this when its down.  Email is a critical service for all businesses and should be addressed with a high level of importance. It’s a tool you use every day and like the construction worker and the hammer or the mechanic and the wrench, it is on you to know how to use that tool.  Understanding the purpose of email is the first step.  Email was designed as a transient messaging system for sending messages and small files quickly. 

Understanding this doesn’t mean knowing exactly how your email gets from your computer to the other end.  Most people can tell you how to send an email or read an email but are uncertain of a well-designed spam message or what the appropriate use for their corporate email address is.

Recent studies indicate that 97% of email users cannot identify a sophisticated phishing attempt.  These phishing attempts cost companies around the globe over $4 Billion dollars annually.  Because of the sophistication level, some of these phishing attempts will elude even the best email security software.  Knowing how to identify one could save you and your company thousands of dollars.

Another way companies lose millions of dollars each year is due to the lack of an Email Acceptable Use Policy.  When a company owns a mail server or pays for a mail service, they give their employees mailboxes to use.  The assumption is often made that the mailbox will be used for business purposes only.  Many employees treat their mailbox as their own and use it for business and personal.  This is where the problems can mount for a business.  In an age of privacy expectations, there is a common misconception that this privacy extends to a person’s corporate mailbox. Companies have been sued over wrongful dismissal after accessing an employee’s mailbox.  Nearly all of these have been thrown out because of Email Acceptable Use policies.

It should be understood that the mailbox and everything in the mailbox actually belongs to the company.  Every email sent out has your company name attached to it and therefore is a reflection of your company’s values and reputation.  Having a solid policy that removes the expectation of privacy and outlines how that mailbox can be used is a solid business strategy. 

I have been in the IT industry for over 20 years now and I have been a Messaging Administrator for many of those years.  I have seen corporate mailboxes that receive twice as many personal emails than business emails.  I have seen issues that got law enforcement involved.  This is your company name and you should protect it.

In the end you need to ensure that everyone is using corporate mailboxes responsibly, ethically, and correctly.

Andrew Wilson, Glenbriar Technologies Inc., Senior Messaging Specialist