e-Governance

e-Mail Security Issues Raised by CIO in California

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Following the receipt of about 95 per cent spam e-mails in the total emails received, State CIO Teri Takai is collaborating with the state information technology leaders to improve the security of California's e-mail systems.

She requested an “e-hub design” workshop which was was held in July for state agencies to modernise and collaborate on a statewide design solution for on spam, virus protection and reducing the e-mail load on the state's networks. The workshop helped in bringing together department stakeholders and work on a design solution for securing the state's email systems. The workshop was attended by eight state agencies working on technical plans to secure and protect the state's inbound, outbound and inter-departmental e-mail systems by implementing Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) gateways.

The workshop is planned to reconvene in September again where participants will finalise the recommendations for a system design and complete a timeline for statewide implementation.

Teri Takai further said, “Although the state has done a sufficient job at protecting against spam and e-mail viruses, we need to be more effective with our resources and take strong measures to develop consistency and maximise security throughout all of our departments.”

The state government of California has a large and a complex messaging environment. It has about 200,000 total e-mail boxes. Approximately 150,000 of these e-mail boxes are within the Executive Branch. There are roughly 750,000 valid in-bound and out-bound e-mail messages and 300,000 inter-departmental e-mail messages sent and received each day.

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