Data breaches at municipalities: e-mail often goes wrong. Read the article

FileCap offers a safe environment for privacy sensitive information


Secure e-mail and file transfer is of great importance for governments and municipalities.


Firstly, the government must lead by example when it comes to the implementation of privacy laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Secondly, governments regularly send data that can easily be misused. This concerns, for example, identity documents or social security numbers, but also data from debt restructuring processes. Moreover, it is not only about data that employees send.


Citizens themselves also use mail to send their sensitive data to government agencies. The problem of data breaches therefore works both ways.


Two municipalities explain how FileCap helps with this by encrypting e-mail.


Data breaches triples at government

Figures from the Dutch Data Protection Authority show that the government regularly goes wrong. In the first half of 2017, the number of reports was still 484. Last year, 1495 data breaches were reported during the first six months, a large triple. E-mailing often goes wrong, 62% of data breaches occurred because personal data was sent to the wrong recipient. Other data breaches concerned the loss of letters or postal packages, or the loss of laptops and USB sticks. And íf things go wrong, it is painful for all involved. This shows a recent data breach in the Municipality of Assen. An Excel file was mailed from the Supervision and Enforcement department with personal data from 530 Assen residents who had received an area denial. Unfortunately not to the correct email address.


Changes at municipalities

Of course there are many municipalities that do take all necessary precautions and give their employees access to applications that drastically reduce the chance of data breaches. Thomas Calf is an account manager at Contec, producer and supplier of FileCap. He explains as follows: “Government employees understand the importance of the GDPR, and want to upload and download files and data with other users in a simple, but especially in a safe way. We really see an awareness change. If you talk to municipalities or other government agencies, they all indicate that sensitive data should definitely not disappear unsecured somewhere in the cloud or end up in the wrong hands. Not only the IT manager, but also the desk clerk understands that. ”


The easier to use, the better

A good example of a municipality that has arranged everything well is GRID, the Joint Regional ICT Service for the municipalities of Westerwolde, Oldambt, Pekela and Veendam. Long before the introduction of the GDPR, this service started looking for a solution that enables employees to send and receive privacy-sensitive information securely.


Henno van Vondel, IT consultant at GRID, says: “Our organization controls the IT environment for around 1800 users, we are working hard every day to maintain the continuity and quality of our services. Offering a secure environment in which sensitive data can be sent is of course part of that. ”


Two years ago the team went looking for a secure file transfer solution that could prevent data leaks, but also had to be very user-friendly. Van Vondel: “Not all employees deal with IT applications with equal ease, so the more easily accessible the better. We also looked at the functionalities and the costs. FileCap scored the best on all three points, so the decision was made quickly. The municipal employees now use Outlook on a daily basis, and with the FileCap plugin they can securely send sensitive data with one tick in the taskbar. ”


Retreive email in case of error

Erik van Verseveld, team leader & senior network and application specialist at Regio Rivierenland, also wanted to give his municipal colleagues a tool to combat data breaches. He wanted files and emails to be sent and received securely. Van Verseveld: “We send external organizations an invite so that they can send the documents to our employees encrypted via the FileCap portal. Third parties can therefore send something securely without needing a FileCap account. Security works for sender and recipient. ”And if the mail is sent to the wrong person by mistake? Van Verseveld: “FileCap has the option that if you have selected the wrong recipient by mistake, you can withdraw the email and the file. This keeps it safe “


The future

About the FileCap option to prevent data breaches by sending both the content and the subject with encryption, Van Verseveld says: “I’m really excited about that. Partly due to the new laws and regulations, our employees are increasingly wondering whether they are doing well. I don’t want the user to have to think about it, I want to offer them an environment in which privacy-sensitive data is automatically treated securely and correctly. FileCap is a super user-friendly and secure solution that offers features that really benefit the customer. Moreover, those options are free, and those are all good reasons to keep using the product. “


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Read what other users have to say about FileCap

Read the reference cases in which they tell about their experiences.