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Hotmail's secure: Microsoft

Software behemoth Microsoft has maintained that its online services are secure in the face of news that the department housing the Prime Minister and the Cabinet will block public web-based email services such as Hotmail and Gmail from 1 July as a security risk.

Software behemoth Microsoft has maintained that its online services are secure in the face of news that the department housing the Prime Minister and the Cabinet will block public web-based email services such as Hotmail and Gmail from 1 July as a security risk.

In response to a report by the government's Auditor-General stating that public web email services were insecure, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet yesterday stated it would comply with the recommendation and shut down access to the webmail platforms, despite the fact that they were being used extensively by departmental staff.

Google declined to comment on the issue, but Microsoft highlighted the security of its offerings.

"Microsoft's online services adhere to many world-leading security standards, such as ISO 27001 and SAS 70, and we regularly investigate improvements to gain further certifications by independent industry organisations," the software giant said in an emailed statement yesterday.

However, Microsoft also acknowledged that different organisations have different needs.

"Microsoft recognises that governments operate in a unique environment and have complex personnel, business, legislative and communication requirements," Microsoft said. "We continue to work with the Australian Government to understand and develop IT solutions, both online and on-premise, that meet their needs."