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E-mail outside the firewall: Is it secure?

There is some discussion at my company of putting e-mail files on our e-mail relay server, which is outside our firewall. People currently access via a dialup VPN, but would like to not carry a laptop around all the time. Some people question the security of this. Have you got any suggestions?
Files stored outside your firewall will be significantly less secure than behind the firewall. In today's world of ever-increasing security threats, e-mail hygiene and security have emerged as important IT functions. If this expertise doesn't exist within your organization, an IT security consultant can help you understand the full implications of the alternatives you are considering, while working with you to define and implement a security infrastructure that protects your corporate data assets, enables secure access by authorized users, and minimizes risks from viruses, malicious users and other Internet-borne threats.

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