Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Important Changes Regarding Access to Personal Email Services from Penn Medicine (UPHS & PSOM) Networks

As a result of heightened cybersecurity threats, PSOM and UPHS leadership have made the decision to block access to personal email services (Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, etc) from the UPHS and PSOM networks. This change will has already been implemented on the health system network and will be implemented on the wired PSOM network effective Monday, November 16.

What is Changing?

Beginning Monday, Novmeber 16, devices connected to the PSOM or health system networks will no longer be able to access personal email services such as Yahoo or Google. Microsoft Office 365 services will continue to remain available to all School of Medicine staff on managed and personally owned devices.

In addition, the health system has restricted the use of Google Docs.  The use of Google Docs is not currently restricted on the PSOM network, but Information Services will begin an evaluation regarding alternatives to Google Docs and/or a manner to utilize these services in a more secure manner. 

Please note that access to these email services via the University networks PennNet and AirPennNet is not affected by this change.

Why are Personal Email Services Being Blocked?

As you may have seen from various communications in recent weeks (including the one below), there is credible information from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding an imminent cyberattack against U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers. To date, we are aware of over 10 healthcare facilities that have been impacted by this threat.  In each instance, the healthcare facility’s network has been locked resulting in the inability to access the network until a ransom is paid or another method of releasing the network was provisioned.

What do I need to do?

This change will take effect automatically without any action on your part.

If you require access to personal email, it is recommended you do so from a personal device, such as a cell phone not connected to the PSOM network. Examples include Home or Guest networks. Personal mail services will also remain accessible from AirPennNet.

Where possible, avoid the use of personal email services (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo! Mail) for business use. Penn Medicine and / or University email services should be used for official use.

Who do I contact if I have further questions or concerns?

Please contact the PMACS Helpdesk or your Local Service Provider with any questions; you can also forward a suspicious email to phishing@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.

Penn Medicine Academic Computing Services (PMACS) at the Perelman School of Medicine

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