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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bad advice from the Wall Street Journal - How many ways can you say SOX, HIPAA, FRCP violations?

Summary: A Wall Street Journal article suggests that business users can circumvent corporate email system limitations by forwarding business correspondence to consumer-oriented email services like Gmail or Yahoo Mail. How many ways can you say SOX, HIPAA, FRCP violations?

Don't forget to go to the bottom to see what Accellion has been up to

A recent Wall Street Journal article by columnist Lee Gomes discussed the “Internet boundlessness” of consumer email systems like Google’s Gmail, Microsoft’s Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail from Yahoo! Inc. The context of the article was Yahoo!’s recent announcement of “free unlimited storage” for Yahoo Mail users.

Ordinarily, none of this should have any affect whatsoever on corporate email usage. But the WSJ article is suggesting that business users take note of the vast storage capabilities of the consumer email services and store attachments related to corporate uses there. The article claims that:

One of the ironies of the current tech scene is that the free email services available from the big Web companies are often faster and have more storage than the corporate accounts that office stiffs use in their jobs every day. It’s thus now common for people to forward work email to an outside free account, turning it into a permanent archive that’s always available for quick searching.

As a matter of a fact, Mr. Gomes proclaimed that he has no less than 40,000 messages stored in this Yahoo email account in about two years.


Personally, I am an enthusiastic user of consumer email accounts like Yahoo Mail and Gmail. They serve their purpose and (my) world is better as a result.

But, in the era of SOX, HIPAA, and FRCP where there are severe financial and legal consequences when corporate data is mishandled, this article is suggesting that business people violate their corporate security policies and send proprietary communication outside the corporate firewall.

As the saying goes, I may be crazy but I ain't stupid.

Using consumer oriented technology to solve the problem of transferring large files and attachments in the corporate context is really substituting a completely separate and potential much larger can of worms for a small problem. For example, Gmail crawls the content of the mail in order to serve advertisements that match the content - Gmail probably know more about the content than you do. Where is your confidentiality and data security?

For companies seeking an alternative to sending and receiving large attachments in this email-centric world that we live in, Accellion secure file transfer solution solves the problem cleanly for the end users while satisfying all the corporate security and compliance requirements.

The Accellion solution is a secure appliance that integrates into your company’s IT infrastructure, and is controlled by your own IT department. The appliance allows employees to send and receive attachments of any size. (OK, 20 Gigabytes is the amount that we have tested so far, but at 5 DVDs worth of data in one click, our testers got tired!) On top of the large file capability, it comes with features like automated file life-cycle management, role-based authentication levels, and integration with corporate assets such as directory services. You know, a real enterprise solution from any angle that you look at it.

Mr. Gomes, let's talk. If you cannot send large attachments through your business email account, I have the right solution for you!


Accellion in the News

Media Coverage

Accellion Solves CRA International's Large File Transfer Issues

How One CIO Escaped E-Mail Attachment Hell

Press Releases

* Red Dot Building Systems Selects Accellion’s Secure File Transfer Solution to Meet its Large File Transfer Needs

* Microsystems Selects Accellion’s Secure File Transfer Solution for its Large File Transfer Needs

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