According to North Jersey’s The Record, the state of New Jersey still does not have a policy on personal e-mails. This issue surfaced nearly a year ago when lawyers working for Governor Christie’s team called for an immediate ban on the practice of state employees using personal e-mail for official business.
In terms of lack of adequate e-mail monitoring, management, and policies, the state of New Jersey has remarkable similarities to issues currently being addressed by Hillary Clinton and the State Department. Both these organizations have extensive and highly experienced offices of information technology. Despite that, there have been shortcomings on appropriate control, security, and oversight. Consequently, we believe similar shortcomings are pervasive, particularly in our market comprised of small and medium businesses in New Jersey.
Why is email policy important to your business?
And what are the e-mail and other information technology (IT) security and policy measures that you have implemented or need to consider? First, let’s look a little further into the issues faced by the state of New Jersey.
Although it has been nearly a year since the Christie lawyers’ recommendation to ban the use of personal e-mails for official business, the state still has not changed its written “electronic mail/messaging” policies on the use of such email accounts – which do not address the issue. Similar to the Clinton situation, state employees are determining themselves what records are maintained and made public. The current policy only warns that accessing personal e-mail accounts from state computers can result in the downloading of computer viruses.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the law firm hired by Christie to investigate the controversial George Washington Bridge lane closures, indicated employees using private e-mail “presents a host of legal and practical challenges”.
Since that time, New Jersey governor’s office employees have been counseled regarding responsibilities associated with conducting state business on state-issued e-mail accounts (with limited exceptions). However, written policies have still not been documented. The state Office of Information Technology staff maintains governor’s office employee e-mails and conducts searches of user accounts for legal compliance.
Businesses in the private sector remain at risk, as well, due to inadequate e-mail monitoring, management, and policies. Without proper security, e-mails and other electronic records are vulnerable to hackers, viruses, physical disasters, and data theft – which could result in serious financial, legal, and operational issues.
How Does Your Business Manage E-mail?
As an IT managed services firm serving predominantly the New Jersey and New York regions, we are concerned about the security and management of our clients’ e-mail environments – in addition to overall IT equipment, software, networks, data, and processes.
If you feel your business may not have adequate e-mail security and policies in place, the time is now to take control. If you are not sure where to start – let’s start with a conversation, we will keep it confidential.