The NY Times has an interesting article about how many office workers forward work email into their web email accounts (Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Hotmail, etc). Employers are worried about the security implications, as well as legal issues. It's a classic case of web 2.0 consumer apps infiltrating the enterprise (the consumerization of the enterprise, as it was labeled last year). NYTimes writes:
"It is a battle of best intentions: productivity and convenience pitted against security and more than a little anxiety.
Corporate techies Äî who, after all, are paid to worry Äî want strict control over internal company communications and fear that forwarding e-mail might expose proprietary secrets to prying eyes. Employees just want to get to their mail quickly, wherever they are, without leaping through too many security hoops."
On the security side, enterprises have every right to be concerned. If you read our coverage of Finjan's latest Web Security report, you'll know that hackers are actively targeting - and profiting from - vulnerabilities in web apps these days. And in the case of organizations like hospitals (mentioned in the NYT article) there are significant privacy issues too when patient files get forwarded on.
The NYT also writes that Google has plans for a more secure enterprise version of Gmail later this year, but Microsoft "and other providers of traditional internal e-mail systems" may introduce ways to block web email use.
I'd like to do a survey of R/WW readers, who granted are a very tech-savvy lot :-) Do you ever access your office email from your personal web mail account?