4 reasons why market research reports should not be shared on e-mail

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 Though, e-mail is the most common method used by market research companies for sharing of their reports with their client, but do you know it is not a secure & reliable way. Read further to learn why….

Unarguably, e-mail is one of the most common method used by the market research companies for sharing their research reports. And why not! After all it’s convenient, it’s fast, it’s easy, and moreover it’s inexpensive.

But, is this really a secure and reliable way?

Definitely ‘NOT’; as email is not encrypted and so there are high chances of data breach, and thus should be avoided whenever you are sharing any kind of sensitive or confidential reports, information and documents, whether written in the body or as an attachment. Although you need credentials to log in and access the e-mail, but not to forget that e-mail is by default sent from server to server that can be read by anyone while getting transferred. As per a report by Egress research, “data is most at risk on email, with 83% of organizations experiencing email data breaches”.

Besides, there are also several other risks associated with the use of e-mail for sharing research reports. So, in today’s article, we will discuss the four main reasons as to why market research reports should not be shared on e-mail, and also the available solutions for securely sharing your confidential reports.

1.    Loss of IP and proprietary research – E-mail undoubtedly has made online sharing of confidential reports and documents by market research companies with their clients very easy. But, this also means it has now become relatively easier for your Intellectual Property (IP) or copyright-protected material to get shared or accessed without your permission as e-mails are not encrypted, and so you cannot stop them from being intercepted. Besides, there is also risk of stolen credentials as once you have shared your report with your client via e-mail, he can further showcase this work as their own. In short, there is risk of confidentiality by sending reports via e-mail as it may end up being forwarded to unauthorized recipients or credentials being filched, resulting in detrimental losses.

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 2.    Having a little control on the license access given to the client – While you might be doing everything right to ensure the confidentiality of your e-mails, you cannot have control over what happens to them once they reach the inbox of your client (recipient). It is a possibility (whether intentional or not) that the client (recipient) can save or further forward the research report shared with him. You would not have any idea who may have unwarranted access to the shared confidential research data anymore.

3.    Sharing of the PDF to the soft network by client – As mentioned, one of the major concerns of sharing research report or data through e-mail is security. To make sure that one-viewer at a time works there needs to be a restriction on downloads, copying and printing, otherwise it is all wasted efforts and time. Unfortunately, using e-mail for sharing your reports means there is no access control, with the data’s privacy settings becoming beyond the control of the company. And, so you once the PDF format of report is shared by you, then you cannot restrict copy, print (and number of copies), and editing or even further sharing of the PDF to the soft network by the client.

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4. E-mail passes through multiple locations – It needs to be understood that once you send the research report through the e-mail, it does not mean that it will simply go directly to your client’s inbox. Thought, but of course it arrives in few seconds, but your sent e-mail actually have to go through from server to server, and passing through virus checkers, firewalls etc. while in transit. And, this extended passage makes e-mail vulnerable for unauthorized persons or hackers as they get numerous unprotected entry points to get through the sensitive data shared by you. What more, your e-mail servers can continue to store old e-mails even after they have been deleted, so they are not safe either.

How should you share your confidential or sensitive reports?

If e-mail is not secure platform, then how can you safely send your confidential research reports your clients and that too hassle-free?

Well, one of the best, safest and robust alternatives to sending sensitive data in email is through the Digital Rights Management (DRM) system that by all means can very well help you in maintaining control of your intellectual property from any kind of theft or unwanted loss.