E-mail is permanent, therefore others can read, Sony Hack reminds non-technical crowd

One lesson learned from Microsoft's Monopoly trials is what you write in e-mail can haunt you.  This lesson has been repeated through multiple trials and discoveries.  I always write in a style that my e-mails could get to a broader audience than just the addressed.

Sony's hack has revealed how executives haven't learned this lesson that most of my technology friends know.

Bonnie Hill, a director of Yum Brands Inc. and California Water Service Group , echoed that point, saying the attack on Sony got everyone’s attention and is a reminder “that you don’t use your email for general, chatty conversations.’’ She said she expects boards to start asking more questions about what kind of information is being kept and how safe it is.

“A sufficiently skilled, motivated and funded attacker will get in, period,” Co3’s Mr. Schneier said. Companies must continually improve security with layers of defense that include intrusion prevention, detection and incident response, he said.

“This is going to take years to unwrap,” Mr. Schneier added. “Now every company is thinking, ‘What would it be like if everything in our company was made public?’ ”
— http://www.wsj.com/articles/fears-spread-of-sony-style-hack-1418863212?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

Whenever I have something extremely confidential to discuss I reach for the phone or switch to other means of communication, but not e-mail.  Using something like encrypted iMessage is an option.

We take a very different view of this than a lot of other companies have. Our view is, when we design a new service, we try not to collect data. So we’re not reading your email. We’re not reading your iMessage. If the government laid a subpoena to get iMessages, we can’t provide it. It’s encrypted and we don’t have a key. And so it’s sort of, the door is closed. But our business Charlie, is based on selling these [pointing to devices]. Our business is not based on having information about you. You’re not our product. Our product are these, and this watch, and Macs and so forth. And so we run a very different company. I think everyone has to ask, how do companies make their money? Follow the money. And if they’re making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried. And you should really understand what’s happening to that data. And companies I think should be very transparent about it.
— Tim Cook