According to the results of a SilverSky survey of 119 U.S. business professionals across a variety of industries, 56 percent of respondents said they've accidentally sent an e-mail to the wrong person while at work -- and 53 percent said they've received unencrypted, risky corporate data (including credit card numbers and Social Security numbers) via e-mail.

One in five respondents said they know of someone in their company who's been caught and reprimanded for sending out sensitive information without adhering to corporate protocol.

And while 53 percent said they've received unencrypted sensitive data (such as sensitive attachments, Social Security numbers, protected health information and corporate secrets) via e-mail, only 17 percent admitted to having sent out such data themselves.


Still, only 32 percent of organizations use an e-mail data loss prevention solution, and only 21 percent use an e-mail encryption solution. Fully 46 percent of respondents said e-mail security could be improved in their organizations.

"How many times have you been slapped with a speeding ticket in the past year? Now think about how many times you’ve driven over the speed limit in the same time period -- my guess is for most of us, that number is significantly higher," SilverSky CTO and SVP Andrew Jaquith said in a statement. "The new SilverSky study draws many parallels between email security habits and driving habits. The vast majority of drivers perceive themselves to be attentive, safe operators, but in reality, most speed, eat and talk or text while behind the wheel."

The full survey results can be viewed here [PDF file].