Almost Four-In-Ten Data Breaches Are Caused By Stressed, Tired Employees

Egress’ recent Outbound Email Security Report has revealed that stressed, tired employees are behind almost four in ten of the most severe data breach incidents. As stress levels rise, rushed employees are more likely to make simple mistakes such as sending an email to the wrong person, or attaching the wrong file.

With remote workers facing distractions from childcare to delivery drivers ringing the doorbell, employees are likely to make simple mistakes such as sending an email to the wrong person, possibly exposing sensitive data. In fact, Egress’ research found that 80% of organisations have had sensitive data put at risk because of an employee sending an email to the wrong person, highlighting the scale of the problem.

Remote working  & surging email volumes increasing the risk

  • Due to the pandemic, 93% of businesses have reported an increase in outbound emails, with one-in-two IT leaders reporting an increase of over 50%.
  • With this surge in email activity looking set to continue as new restrictions mean many will be working remotely for longer, the surface area for risk of an outbound email data breach is growing. The research revealed that 35% of severe incidents over the last 12 months were caused by remote working.  
  • Data breaches as a result of outbound email are often overlooked and underreported, meaning businesses and people aren’t aware of the true scale of the problem. In fact, the ICO recently reported misdirected emails are the #1 cause of categorised incidents reported, and responsible for 44% more incidents than phishing attacks.
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