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The biggest loser in this Presidential campaign: Email Security

Posted by Steven Toole on October 17, 2016

 

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While news headlines seem to come in daily about all the bad things each candidate said or did over the past 30 years, the bigger headline is this:  email isn’t secure anymore. And it’s also perhaps the only issue both candidates agree on.

Hillary Clinton:  “I think cyber security, cyber warfare will be one of the biggest challenges facing the next president.”

Donald Trump:  “As far as the cyber, I agree to parts of what Secretary Clinton said. We should be better than anybody else, and perhaps we're not. So we have to get very, very tough on cyber and cyber warfare. It is -- it is a huge problem.”

Sure, we always knew that email that was sent over corporate email servers could always be discoverable by the employer, or in a legal matter. And of course, the recipient could always share the email with anyone. Those are the “old” rules of engagement for email communication.

But times have changed. While most people are busy gasping at the content of emails surfacing in news headlines, the bigger gasp should be the fact that these emails were exposed outside of the rules of engagement outlined above. They weren’t exposed by an employer, recipient, or as the result of a legal matter (well, not all of them were exposed that way, anyway).

Why is this OK? Why is the major news media not reporting on the real story:  “And in other news, your email is no longer confined to you, your recipient(s), and your employer. The whole world can now read any and all of your emails. And now here’s the weather forecast for the weekend….”

Seriously, political views aside -- the Clinton campaign has raised over $143 million in campaign financing, plus another $373 million from the DNC. They can afford security products. They can afford to hire people that know about security. They have a lot at stake. That half a billion dollar campaign budget could be a total waste of money if they lose the general election.  And it’s a close enough race that exposed or compromised email could cost her the election.

Yet her campaign’s email keeps getting exposed on Wikileaks and compromised with phishing attacks.

Email has been a part of mainstream communication for the past five presidential campaigns, since George W. Bush vs. Al Gore. But never in the past 16 years have email hacks, attacks, compromises and exposure played such a prominent role in a presidential campaign. So why has email security gotten worse?

The rules of engagement have indeed changed. The new rules are:  Anyone that wants to read your email, can do so very easily. Your company’s email may not end up on a cable news network, but that doesn’t make you any less vulnerable -- or less interesting -- to attackers.

How? Why? When did this happen?

Cloud computing is a powerful tool -- and to borrow a line from a Marvel Comics’ film adaptation -- with great power comes great responsibility.  The cloud is not bad. Email is not bad. They’re both incredibly powerful technologies. But like guns, they do need certain safeguards in order to avoid bad things happening.

Unfortunately, thousands of businesses (including certain political parties) rushed to cloud email without reading the warning labels. And that’s why you’re seeing all of their emails on the major news networks. Oops!

The good news is this. There actually ARE perfectly effective technologies to prevent this from happening -- to presidential candidates, government organizations, and businesses like yours. In fact, the cloud and cloud email can actually be more secure than your own data center.

Avanan created our Cloud Security Platform to make SaaS applications, such as email, safe again. How? We ‘cloudify’ all of the world’s best email security software products and point them at your cloud email programs like Gmail and Office 365. Why choose one security product when you can choose ALL of them -- or any combination you’d like. Multi-vendor defense-in-depth. Any SaaS. Any Security. One Click.

So whether you have a $500 million campaign budget at stake, or just your company’s trade secrets, invoicing information, and private information about your customers and clients, you’re probably just as exposed and vulnerable as someone trying to become the most powerful woman in modern history.

Are you smarter than a presidential candidate? Watch this 4-minute demo to see how you can avoid becoming the next security breach news story on a major cable news network.

Watch Demo

 

Topics: Blog