Information is rarely static, staying in one place throughout its lifecycle. More commonly information is processed, disseminated and dispersed, between applications and between people. Processes and procedures need to be created to govern this transfer in a secure and responsible way; likewise personnel (including third parties receiving information) must be trained to treat any information they have access to, apparently.
The process that employees need to follow should be explicitly stated including an acceptable use policy which employee’s need to sign to transmit information. These policies should include measures to prevent staff from forwarding malicious mail, engaging in harassment and should detail the retention period and disposal procedure for emails, when encryption should be used and steps to protect against information disclosure such as being overheard having confidential conversations in public places.
Where feasible during communications with vendors, government and other parties it should be explicitly required in agreed contracts what level of security is required for correspondence. This should keep include non-repudiation, responsibilities in the event of disclosure, technical requirements and data classification.
As more and more companies use Electronic Messaging, such as email, Lync and Slack, in their day to day communications repertoire, and sometimes as a complete replacement for letters and calls, it is important that we have policies in place detailing how this can be used and what controls are in place to protect us such as keeping a record of messages exchanged, ensuring encryption in transit and at reset and having mechanisms for non-repudiation in place.
Staff, contractors and other third parties working in your organization may all have access to confidential information. This needs to be protected and one of the best ways to do this is to require all parties with access to sign confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements(NDA). These agreements should specify what is to be kept confidential, for how long, what the penalties are for disclosure, what the protected information can be used for and how that information should be protected and disclosures reported.