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Proofpoint Releases 2008 Email and Data Loss Prevention Survey: 41% of Large U.S. Corporations Employ Staff to Read Employee Email; 26% Terminated Employees for Email Policy Violations in the Past Year
May 20, 2008 (08:05 AM EDT)


SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- In its fifth-annual study of outbound email and data loss prevention issues ( http://www.proofpoint.com/outbound ), Proofpoint, Inc. found that large enterprises continue to incur risk from -- and take action against -- information leaks over outbound email, as well as newer communications media such as blogs, message boards, media sharing sites and mobile devices.

Outbound email remains a key source of risk for U.S. enterprises with a record 44% of surveyed companies reporting that they investigated an email leak of confidential information in the past 12 months. 41% of the largest companies surveyed (those with 20,000 or more employees) reported that they employ staff to read or otherwise analyze the contents of outbound email. 22% of these companies said they employ staff primarily or exclusively for this purpose. Other key findings in the survey include:

-- 40% of companies surveyed investigated an email-based violation of privacy or data protection regulations in the past 12 months. -- 26% of companies surveyed terminated an employee for violating email policies in the last 12 months. -- 23% of U.S. companies surveyed said their business was impacted by the exposure of sensitive or embarrassing information in the last 12 months. -- 34% of the largest companies (20,000 employees or more) reported that employee email was subpoenaed in the last 12 months.

Email is not the only source of risk for information leakage, however. Respondents to the survey indicated significant risk resulting from employee use of blogs, message boards and media sharing sites (such as YouTube), as well as mobile devices. Some of the key findings include:

-- 27% of companies surveyed had investigated the exposure of confidential, sensitive or private information from lost or stolen mobile devices in the past 12 months. -- 11% of U.S. companies surveyed disciplined employees for improper use of blogs/message boards in the past 12 months. -- 13% of surveyed companies disciplined employees for social network violations and 14% for improper use of media sharing sites in the past 12 months. -- 14% of publicly traded companies surveyed had investigated the exposure of material financial information (such as unannounced financial results) on blogs or message board postings in the last 12 months.

To download a free copy of Proofpoint's complete report, Outbound Email and Data Loss Prevention in Today's Enterprise, 2008, visit: http://www.proofpoint.com/outbound/ . Proofpoint's 2008 survey asked 301 email decision makers at U.S. companies with more than 1000 employees about a wide variety of data loss concerns and the actions they take to mitigate risks of data loss. Proofpoint's 2008 survey also included 123 European and Australian enterprises to assess global concerns about outbound email and related risks.

About Proofpoint, Inc.

Proofpoint provides unified email security and data loss prevention solutions for enterprises, universities, government organizations and ISPs to defend against inbound threats such as spam and viruses, prevent leaks of confidential and private information across all protocols, and encrypt sensitive emails. Proofpoint's products are controlled by a single management and policy console and are powered by Proofpoint MLX(TM) technology, an advanced machine learning system developed by Proofpoint scientists and engineers. Proofpoint provides the most scalable and flexible deployment model including: hardware appliance, virtual appliance, hosted services and software. For more information, please visit http://www.proofpoint.com .

CONTACT: Sharon Dratch of Davies Murphy Group, +1-781-418-2425, pr@proofpoint.com, for Proofpoint, Inc.

Web site: http://www.proofpoint.com/