Enterprise IT Watch Blog

Sep 13 2010   12:29PM GMT

Email insecurity: How a GMail trick could trash your server



Posted by: MelanieYarbrough
Tags:
E-mail
Google Guerillas

It seems innocent enough, forwarding your work email to your Gmail (hotmail, yahoo, etc.). Your work email will be more accessible: on the train, at home, on the go. You pat yourself on the back for working harder than anyone else in the office. They really ought to give you a raise.

The flipside of that, of course, are the risks of forwarding potentially sensitive corporate materials to a third party email host, where your company and IT security department has no means of protecting it. We recently had an IT Knowledge Exchange member ask about the ways to forward work email to Gmail, and the response we received from the community had one underlying theme: BE CAREFUL. So what, exactly, could go wrong?

David Vasta, one of our member bloggers, brings to light the possible legal repercussions.

You want to be very careful you are now sending company mail that belongs to your company from your company owned and operated email to an external source. In most states it is considered Corporate Theft and it’s a felony.

For more of David’s thoughts on the subject, check out what he wrote for his blog: Question of the Day – Forwarding Emails.

Sc00ter63 gave brief instructions on how to go about forwarding emails, but informed our user that his company has the option disabled “because of the security issues that can arise with forwarding company email to a personal/civilian account.”

CallMeRich brings up an often-overlooked but important concern: Bringing down your company’s mail servers. It could happen with the slightest oversights, such as setting up your email to forward to Gmail, setting up a Gmail “out-of-office” auto-response that gets sent to your work email, which gets automatically forwarded back to Gmail and so on until, within minutes, your Gmail account is full and your corporate mailbox grows terabytes in size. This could in turn take down or seriously hinder your mail servers. Rich further warns that he’s seen this “simple gotcha” happen and it can be devastating.

What sorts of email security blunders have you run into or been careful to avoid?

Melanie Yarbrough is the assistant community editor at ITKnowledgeExchange.com. Follow her onTwitter or send her an email at Melanie@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.

4  Comments on this Post

 
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  • MelanieYarbrough
    [...] the original:  Email insecurity: How a GMail trick could trash your server … Tags: a-protocol--, for-working, pat-yourself, seems-innocent, september, train, which-ship, [...]
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  • MelanieYarbrough
    [...] the original post here: Email insecurity: How a GMail trick could trash your server … more-accessible, pat-yourself, seems-innocent, the-train, train, [...]
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  • MelanieYarbrough
    [...] the original post: Email insecurity: How a GMail trick could trash your server … more-accessible, pat-yourself, seems-innocent, the-train, train, [...]
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    report
  • MelanieYarbrough
    [...] And the risk doesn’t end with the lust for physical devices: As our own members noted, users trying to do their own “upgrades” by forwarding their e-mail to slick services like GMail can cause all kinds of havoc. [...]
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