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Is putting e-mail files outside the company firewall safe?

There is some discussion here of putting e-mail files on our e-mail relay server, which is outside the company firewall. People currently access via VPN but would like to not carry a laptop around all the time. Some people question the security of this. Have you any suggestions on providing more secure access?
While in theory your data should be safe, I never like to have any sensitive/critical data open on the Internet. You are just inviting hackers to attack you. Personally, I would look to using a reverse proxy or multi-tier DMZ with DWA access to do this. There are also appliances, such as the one from Whale Communications, that can perform this function.

This was first published in August 2004

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