DHHS Intranet Webmail.

DHHS Intranet Webmail.

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that its Intranet Webmail interface, designed to provide employees with a secure, easy-to-use method for viewing and managing email and other electronic messages, will be available beginning Monday, February 1.

The new system was developed by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) in response to the growing number of security incidents involving email.

“Webmail makes it easier for HHS employees to manage their messages and access their accounts securely from anywhere, using any device with Internet access,” said DHHS CIO Sylvia Matthews Burwell. “It also will help us reduce our exposure to viruses, phishing attacks, and other types of malware.”

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Employees with an HHS email account will have immediate access to the new service without the need for special software or training. The secure HTTPS network encrypts all traffic between the user’s computer and the Webmail server, ensuring that messages cannot be read in transit by potential attackers.

A technical support team is available during regular business hours to assist users who have questions or encounter technical difficulties.

The Webmail system’s appearance is similar to that of a consumer-oriented Gmail account, with a fresh, contemporary look and “click-to-compose” messages that allow messages to be composed directly of the inbox. Like all HHS email messages, those sent using Webmail are archived for record-keeping purposes.

Webmail is the latest in a series of cybersecurity initiatives undertaken by HHS, which include work to secure the department’s information systems and protect electronic health records.

“Every day, our employees are working to improve the health and well-being of Americans,” said Burwell. “We want them to have the tools they need to do their jobs while minimizing risk.”