You really are drowning in spam

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According to the Managing Your Organisation’s E-mail and Messaging survey, the results of which were announced today by network management developer Ipswitch Inc., the feeling that you are drowning in spam happens for a reason: you are.

The survey revealed that 20% of those responding reported more than a 100% annual increase in spam on their organisations’ e-mail servers. Overall, 76% of IT managers reported some sort of increase in spam volumes. 27% of those surveyed reported receiving complaints from e-mail users about spam on a daily basis, while 25% reported receiving complaints on a weekly basis.

Regarding the number of incidents of viruses and malware installed on e-mail users’ computers, IT managers claimed an average of 30 infections of viruses, worms or Trojans over the past 12 months and 22 incidents of spyware or key logger installations over the same period. According to those surveyed, the total cost of defending against these threats averaged more than $13,000 annually when factoring in the costs of technology solutions, staff, recovery, remediation and end-user training. At the same time, the respondents indicated that the total annual cost of damages caused by e-mail related events, including lost productivity, staff time, and fines related to compliance regulations, averaged $5,600. Small to mid-size organisations spent 40% less than average while sustaining similar annual losses due to e-mail events.

IT managers rated white lists and black lists as the most important spam control tools to the management of their organisations’ messaging system. 56% of those surveyed rated both of these tools as “very important”. Free Real-Time Blackhole Lists (RBLS) were rated as “very important” by 37% of IT managers and challenge/response systems were rated the same by 21% of respondents. Subscription RBLS was the least-used tool by those surveyed, with only 15% rating it as “very important” and 18% rating it as “not important”.

The survey revealed that viruses and malware did not increase as rapidly as spam volumes on e-mail servers. Only 11% of IT managers reported an annual increase in viruses, worms and Trojan infections on e-mail users’ laptops and desktops, while 44% of respondents reported an annual decrease. In terms of spyware or key logger programs installed on e-mail users’ computers, 17% of IT managers reported an annual increase, 32% reported a decrease and 31% claimed that there was no change.