Australian PM's office to ban staff from web mail

Australian PM's office to ban staff from web mail

Summary: The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has said it will stop staff from accessing web mail services such as Hotmail and Gmail because they pose a security risk

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The Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has said it will lock access to public email services such as Hotmail and Gmail from 1 July, because they represent an inherent security risk.

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The department signalled on Wednesday that it would bow to a report by the federal auditor general on the security of information held by government agencies. The auditor-general Ian McPhee recommended that "agencies should not allow personnel to send and receive emails on agency ICT systems using public web-based email services", specifically calling out Hotmail and Gmail as examples of such platforms.

The problem with such services, according to McPhee, is that they provide "an easily accessible point of entry for an external attack" and they subject departments and agencies to "the potential for intended or unintended information disclosure".

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see PM's dept vows to block Hotmail, Gmail on ZDNet Australia.


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