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Google suffers minor breach when third-party vendor accidentally exposes employee information

16 May 2016

Google was one of the latest companies to become victim to a security breach last week, after confidential information about Google employees was sent by a third-party vendor to a benefits manager at a different company.

Although the email contained private information including social security numbers, this mistake was not intended to damage Google or its employees.

Gord Boyce, CEO of FinalCode, a file security company, says “Google and its third-party benefits vendor are lucky that the recipient deleted the document and informed them of the mistake without incident.”

Other times it might not be so easy to prevent or stop breaches from happening again.

“With all of the layers of security available, organisations like the benefits vendor have no excuse when it comes to preventing data leakage of customer information or intellectual property,"  Boyce says

Such a slipup highlights the importance of company security, file encryption and data protection, even in the case of mistaken activity. One wrong click is often all it takes to spark a potentially catastrophic chain of events.

“Securing sensitive information at the file level is the best way to define individual access permission and ensures that you can maintain control over your data everywhere it travels, inside or outside the organisation,” Boyce says.

Google has since launched an investigation into the breach.

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