Zivver public sector report reveals 45% of IT leaders concerned about email security

July 19, 2023


Zivver, a digital communications provider, has released its Public Sector Freedom to Focus report, which explores the importance of data protection and technological interoperability in local and central government.

The report found that 98% of local and central government employees rely on email to get the job done because it is universal and requires little training and implementation.

However, IT leaders are all too familiar with the security flaws, with 45% of those surveyed concerned about data loss through email errors. This is supported by findings from the ICO, which showed that, of the incidents reported by government bodies, the majority were due to human error. Despite all this, 91% of those questioned consider email to be the most secure method of communication.

Zivver says the highest standards must be upheld

Adam Low, CTO at Zivver: “It is paramount that public facing bodies uphold the highest standards of data protection and privacy. As we have seen with recent incidents, a breach can have severe consequences for individuals and communities, eroding trust and potentially leading to identity theft and other forms of fraud being launched against them. This harms not only those directly impacted but also undermines public trust in the ability of governments to protect their personal data.”

 Other highlights from the report include:

  • 53% of IT leaders believe that smart technologies are key to progressive risk management.
  • 58% think that bureaucracy and ‘process overload’ are barriers to focusing on core tasks.
  • 42% of IT leaders feel there are too many different IT systems across organisations.
  • 87% of IT leaders would experience a morale boost and better productivity if their organisation invested in technology to reduce email data security concerns.

While security is a primary concern, it is also important that public sector organisations can digitally transform and communicate more effectively across different services.

Overcoming the barriers

However, there are barriers to interoperability with unnecessary bureaucracy and inflated IT systems. Added to this, government entities continue to face recruitment challenges, especially in digital skills.

A report published by the NAO details that only 4% of civil servants are digital professionals, which presents issues for IT leaders looking to empower employees to work efficiently and securely.

Low added: “In the absence of skilled professionals, public sector bodies can empower their existing workforce with the tools to work effectively. Unfortunately email in its main form lacks data loss prevention functionally, large file transfer capabilities, recall functionality, expiration controls and multi-factor authentication. While it performs a function to bridge the gap for siloed teams, it must be enhanced to ensure communications are protected before, during, and after sending.”

More UK Security News

Read Next