Silver Spring, Md. — E-mail is arguably the single-largest source of information creation for most organizations. Yet for the majority of these companies, e-mail is poorly managed—if at all, according to recent research performed by AIIM’s Market Intelligence Group. The research concludes that e-mail has become the biggest content security concern for corporate America.

E-mail plays a significant role in insurers’ documenting decisions and in conducting the business of an organization. The enterprise content management association’s recent study reveals that only 49% of survey respondents are “very confident” or “quite confident” that they can, if challenged, demonstrate that their electronic information is accurate, accessible and trustworthy. Thirty-three percent are “slightly confident” and 19% of the 652 respondents are “not confident” at all.

Organizations are at risk when they don’t retain important e-mails as records. E-mails should only be kept according to their value for the organization, according to AIIM. Many organizations also underestimate compliance and e-discovery costs. In the survey, only 38% said they are “very confident” or “quite confident” that e-mails related to documenting commitments and obligations made by staff are recorded, complete and retrievable. Thirty-two percent of the respondents are “slightly confident” and 30% are “not confident” at all.

Research from New York-based Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu says human error, and a failure to address security on an enterprisewide basis, are undermining efforts by top financial institutions to safeguard data.

Deloitte’s 2007 Global Security Survey asked senior information technology executives from 169 major global institutions about the current trends in security and privacy. When it comes to security breaches, the activities of the financial institution’s own customers are one of the most worrisome elements, according to the Deloitte survey, finding that the top three breaches were viruses and worms, e-mail attacks and phishing/pharming.

Framingham, Mass.-based global market intelligence firm IDC’s latest update to its “Expanding Digital Universe Report” estimates that we will have 10 times more electronic information in 2011 than in 2006, which could mean 10 times more e-mails in your inbox and on your mail server. Another survey by AIIM, the Cohasset Associates consulting firm and information management association ARMA International shows that 40% of organizations still do not include electronic records in their retention schedules.

“U.S. organizations need to get their e-mails under control,” says John Mancini, president of AIIM. “Our new E-mail Management Certificate Program, based on best practices amongst our 50,000 associates and professional members, will provide organizations with a better understanding of how to improve the control of their corporate e-mails.”

AIIM’s new E-mail Management (EMM) Certificate Program is designed from global best practices among AIIM's 50,000 associates and professional members, and provides course attendees with an understanding of industry best practices, and existing and emerging technologies for managing corporate e-mail. The course objectives and content were defined and reviewed by subject matter experts in AIIM’s Education Advisory Groups. Course materials were based on the objectives and developed by Jesse Wilkins and others at Access Sciences Corp.

Sources: AIIM and INN archives

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