Feeds

Merrill Lynch shackles employee Net access

Third-party email services banned

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

Merrill Lynch today introduced a company-wide ban on access to third-party email services from corporate PCs.

In a memo to staff, the investment banker said it was prohibiting workers from picking up or sending email through Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL and the like because of "regulatory requirements" and as a means to cut off a possible route by which viruses might enter its network. Access to external message boards, chat rooms or forums have all become proscribed activities for Merrill Lynch workers. Using home email accounts at work have also been outlawed.

Merrill Lynch's ban extends rules that apply to workers on Merrill Lynch's trading desk across its 48,000-strong global workforce.

"We believe it is appropriate for that policy to be extended throughout the firm, without exception, to help ensure that electronic communications to and from Merrill Lynch facilities are subject to proper monitoring and surveillance," said the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Cnet.

Merrill Lynch's hard-line policy is similar to those already introduced at rival investment house Goldman Sachs. Access to external Web and Internet services is being closely controlled - or banned outright - across the investment banking community as part of wider regulatory changes introduced in the wake of the Enron affair.

The growing desire of finance houses to control access to unauthorised services has created a niche security market, with employee management firms like Websense and numerous others only too happy to step into the breach.

Meanwhile, related industry developments have boosted the market for enterprise class Instant Messaging products, which provide enhanced security and auditing features over mainstream IM products from AOL, MSN and Yahoo. ®

Related Stories

EDS bans IM
Memory sticks are the latest security risk
Personal storage sites are the latest 'security risk'
Websense hopes to filter more than just the Web
Net 'misuse' costs corporate America $2000 per second

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.