Tag: Business Impact

05 Jun 2020

Email Data Protection, The What and Why, and How to Select Yours

Organizations continue to place too much focus on feature and function when evaluating security technology. At a time of fierce digital transformation, the distance between technical promise and business impact continues to widen as over 124.5 billion business emails are sent and received each day.

When COVID-19 first emerged, many organizations scrambled to find quick-fix security solutions to prop up their now-remote workforces for a business delay expected to last a couple of weeks. Add to the mix the acceleration of long-term working from home and shifting attitudes to digital privacy.

“This is a wake-up call for organizations that have placed too much focus on daily operational needs at the expense of investing in digital business and long-term resilience,” says Sandy Shen, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner. “Businesses that can shift technology capacity and investments to digital platforms will mitigate the impact of the outbreak and keep their companies running smoothly now, and over the long term.”

But simply buying an encryption product, to protect your data being sent in emails, does not guarantee long term organizational value.

According to a survey from encryption technology experts Echoworx, 81 per cent of organizations prioritized encryption for protecting data sent in email as important, even critical, to their technology stack, but only 40 per cent are using email encryption throughout their business.

To end this disconnect, we argue that organizations need to start thinking differently about their email data protection strategy and the way they evaluate and select solutions and vendors.

Technology alone delivers no value

The fact that the technical “experts” believe a technology or product will work for the business is not a guarantee that the business will actually use it. Through our years of experience, we have heard these three email encryption misconceptions repeated over and over.

Misconception #1: “We invest in encryption tools because it is mandatory”
Reality: Investment in an encryption tool should address specific business needs.

Misconception #2: “We have encryption, we are safe. It’s good enough.”
Reality: Protecting data sent through email is less dependent on technology than you think.

Misconception #3: “Data protection is all about compliance”
Reality: The ability to protect data is just as important as the ability to use and move data.

Why do you need a particular product? How well do you know the business and their needs? And, how well will this product meet those needs? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, with total clarity, you don’t understand the business and you won’t be able to add real value.

One bank, for example, wanted to easily recall emails and customer documentation so that they could reduce implicating the Chief Data Officer and eliminate lengthy audit processes. That’s what the business needed. What the business got was an onerous multi-step approach, requiring physical actions from multiple staff, external individuals, organizations, and 3rd party email providers to confirm emails and attachments have been deleted from all backups and archives.

In another example, an insurance company wanted their customers to be able to simply respond to an email so that they could return sensitive documentation easily to a centralized mailbox. That’s what the business wanted. What the business got was a time-consuming multi-step approach, requiring the resources of multiple staff, sending instructional emails to customers, requiring registration to an encrypted email service – before being able to access and return requested documents safely.

The list goes on.

Ask better questions, align technology to business needs

Instead of arming yourself with a checklist of features and functions, prepare questions that will help you evaluate the fit of an email data encryption solution to your business needs. Here’s how …

To learn: How well the offering meets your business need.
Ask. Why do you need this particular security product? Why now?

To learn: What does success look like for the business.
Ask. How well does this offering resolve your specific need?

To learn: How end users will use this solution.
Ask. How well does the offering fit into your existing way of working?

To learn: Can this meet the business needs today and the bigger picture needs tomorrow.
Ask. How well the offering integrates with your other systems and technologies? Could the way you use this solution change over time?

01 Jun 2020

Multilingual Interfaces Drive Growth, Says Research

For decades, businesses have internationalized their global operations by adopting English. The gains from this have been real, but recent research suggests they could be even bigger if paired with language preference.

Global enterprises need to operate in English. It’s the primary language of technology, finance, regulators, and other major stakeholders. Firms with global operations need to have a unified language for communication and English-first policies have taken hold in many corporate headquarters and regional offices.

There are advantages to this, such as being able to communicate between offices in Mumbai, Shanghai and Sao Paulo. But even in economies with a high level of English-language skills – including tech hotspots such as the Nordics, Israel and Singapore – the use of non-native languages can cause confusion, miscommunication, and unnecessary risk.

Increasingly, firms and researchers are realizing that while the trend toward global English has brought benefits, there may be even more upside to having multilingual capabilities.

Here are some key recent findings and observations:

Multilingual businesses can embrace multiple ways of thinking

The World Economic Forum has recognized that the language people use can change the way they think, sometimes in surprising ways . For instance, Chinese speakers tend to take more gambling risks when they receive positive feedback in their native language, but they became more risk averse when the same feedback is given in English. “Reduced impulsiveness when dealing in a second language can be seen as a positive thing, [but] the picture is potentially much darker when it comes to human interactions,” the WEF noted. “In a second language, research has found that speakers are also likely to be less emotional and show less empathy and consideration for the emotional state of others.”

The WEF suggests firms embrace multilingualism even while having an “official” language. “A balanced exchange of ideas, as well as consideration for others’ emotional states and beliefs, requires a proficient knowledge of each other’s native language. In other words, we need truly bilingual exchanges.”

New technologies increase the need for native-language precision

Second languages are difficult to master in writing, and far more challenging to learn to speak. With the world’s largest technology firms promoting voice commands, the demand for better native-language interfaces is rapidly increasing.

The mobile-first world is changing the way we interact with our devices – Oracle Industry Strategy Director, William Bariselli

The mobile-first world is changing the way we interact with our devices, and we’re currently seeing a shift back to an older method of communication: speech. Users are increasingly starting to type using voice inputs rather than using the keyboards,” says William Bariselli, Industry strategy director at Oracle.  He notes that around 60% of mobile phone users already speak to their device daily, with higher rates among younger generations.

As anyone who has responded to voice prompts on a customer-service line or received a nonsensical response from Siri or Alexa can tell you, speech recognition is far from perfect. But with Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon making massive investments in natural language processing and including voice features in virtually all hardware and software, it is certain that the trend toward voice will accelerate.

English is the language of cyber crime

English is the global language of both business and cyber crime. Consumer anti-virus firms Symantec and Kapersky consistently note that email phishing and extortion scams almost always start in English before being adapted into other languages.

Scammers will use poor English deliberately to target people with lower-level reading skills

Scammers will use poor English deliberately to target people with lower-level reading skills – both less-educated native speakers and those who use English as a second language. Consultant and author Joseph Steinberg says this targeting of people with poor English skills is intentional and strategic. “As the vast majority of people simply do not write their emails with The King’s English, to put it mildly. A bogus email impersonating one from the head of corporate computer support is likely more believable with minor errors in it, than if it were written as well as most articles in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal.”

Native-languages may be a legal requirement

Multilingual operations are often a requirement rather than a choice. Many jurisdictions have regulations that mandate bi- or multi-lingual services. Financial firms in Canada, for instance, must have both English and French content and interfaces for employees and clients. Similarly, Europe’s General Data Protection Regulations obliges firms to provide native-language services when dealing with third parties.

Even if multinationals are not required to adopt a local language by law, they will have to communicate and service with institutions that must do so – such as financial and government institutions, particularly when it comes to official and sensitive communications.

Enterprises can’t afford to have any vital instructions lost in translation when communicating sensitive data and private information – Echoworx Senior Director Market Intelligence, Jacob Ginsberg

“Enterprises can’t afford to have any vital instructions lost in translation when communicating sensitive data and private information,” said Jacob Ginsberg, Senior Director Market Intelligence with email data encryption leader Echoworx. “To avoid confusion, miscommunication or something as simple as a poor customer user experience, secure message notifications and instructions need to be clearly understood by those who receive them.”

Native language capabilities reduce costs

With local language capabilities, employees and customers can fully understand and interact with systems and software, improving their ability to use a product and learn its functionalities. “Only if all buttons, menu lists, commands, messages and notifications are clear, will your customers be able recognize all advantages of using your application,” said Dorota Pawlak , owner of DP Translation Services, which localizes software for Polish market. “Localization … ensures readability and preserves the original functionality to help your users understand your product, which in turn ensures better customer experience.” This lowers unnecessary queries to customer service reps, lowering support costs and freeing money for other activities.

Local language capabilities increase employee retention

Harvard Business School professor Tsedal Neeley sees many advantages of English as a global business language, but notes that forcing employees to adopt foreign language can hurt performance, job satisfaction and retention.”When my colleagues and I interviewed 164 employees at GlobalTech [a pseudonym for a multinational] two years after the company’s English-only policy had been implemented, we found that nearly 70% of employees continued to experience frustration with it. At FrenchCo [another pseudonym], 56% of medium-fluency English speakers and 42% of low-fluency speakers reported worrying about job advancement because of their relatively limited English skills.”

People are more precise on their native language

English is essential to advance in sectors like technology and finance, but English as it is spoken in business is not the same as how it is spoken naturally and has serious limitations. “Phonetically, [business English] has almost nothing to do with American or UK English. They say it is ‘BBC English,’ but actually it is not. It is a phonetically simplified English that uses UK English grammar,” said Salvatore Sanfilippo, an Italian computer programmer with a U.S. cloud services firm. While this allows people from around the world to communicate easily, it has nothing to do with the real English spoken in UK, US, Canada, and other countries where English is a native language,” says Sanfilippo.

A person’s first language will be their first preference

The most obvious reason for language localization is that a vast majority of people prefer to speak their first languages.

The Globalization and Localization Association, a global non-profit, notes a wealth of studies on language preference: 56.2% percent of consumers say that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price,65% of multinationals believe localization results in higher revenues, 95% of Chinese consumers are more comfortable with websites in their language. The ability to communicate in multiple languages can even be a critical factor the success of cross-border merger and acquisition deals.

56.2% percent of consumers say that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price – The Globalization and Localization Association

Similarly Common Sense Advisory  polled 3,002 consumers in 10 countries finding a substantial consumer preference for native tongues, noting that people who lack confidence tend “to avoid English-language websites, spend less time during their visits, and not buy products that lack instructions or post-sales customer support in their language.”