Pentagon Considering Commercial Cloud Based Email System

If you think you get more than your share of spam emails, spare a thought for the Pentagon’s email system’s users. According to information just released, only 14 percent of the half a billion emails received through the system on a monthly basis, are legitimate.

The Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DOD), Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn said “Out of 700 million emails we’ll get in a month, only about 98 million are actually good emails. The rest are spam and worm attacks.”

Lynn said many of the emails are also “malicious password phishing attempts, full of viruses”.

Asked by reporters if the Defense Department will seek to move its unclassified email system to the cloud, Lynn said it was something which DOD would investigate.

He said last month when the DOD began seeking comment from stakeholders and industry experts about the best way to lower email costs and yet keep the system secure, many of the suggestions received recommended going to a cloud based format.

“Industry gets excited about the cloud until I tell them there’s a risk. We get attacked a lot. There’s a risk associated with that.” said Lynn, adding that although cost reduction will be a big factor in the Pentagon’s email system future, security “remains paramount”.

According to experts, the Pentagon has been developing its requirements and policies for cloud security and cybersecurity as it builds towards shared-services information technology in what it refers to as its “Joint Information Environment”.

According to David DeVries, the Pentagon’s principal deputy chief information officer, 19 DOD “cloud consumers” are already beginning to move unclassified sensitive tasks to secure commercial cloud platforms, with three initial implementations already operational”.

He said the email system could be next.

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