State Department upgrades network security against cyber attacks - Security concerns drive companies back to private Cloud

The State Department on Friday said it was upgrading the security of its unclassified computer network to defend against cyber attacks, leaving some employees unable to send outside emails or access the internet.

Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the agency, which in November said it had suffered a cyber attack, was improving “the security of its main unclassified network during a short, planned outage of some Internet-linked systems.”

The agency carried out an upgrade in November that also left workers unable to send outside emails or to get to the internet.

In a brief statement, Psaki said the department continued to monitor “activity of concern” on its unclassified network but did not address whether there had been a recent, new attack that prompted the latest security upgrade.

“There has been no compromise of any of the Department’s classified systems, nor of our core financial, consular,¬†and human resource systems,” Psaki said in the statement.

Other State Department employees said they were unable to send emails outside the agency, although internal emails continue to flow, and that they could not get access to the Internet from their desktop computers.