42000 spams in your mailbox this year


Security provider Webroot has today published its State of Internet Security: Protecting Business Email research report and estimates that every single business email account will receive some 42,000 spams during the course of 2008. Or 116 junk messages every single day if you prefer. That is an increase of some 60 percent since 2004 according to Webroot, despite the investment made in spam filtering technology. It would seem that spammers are taking the lead when it comes to developing methodologies to beat the filters therefore.

Mike Irwin, COO at Webroot, agrees "The size and volume of these spam attacks is largely due to the partial success of current filtering defences that now make spamming success a numbers game. It's clear why first-generation defences such as appliances and server-based software are struggling to keep up."

The report goes on to confirm that it is not just spam that is causing problems for business, but malware growth as well: up from 50,000 variants in 2004 to some 5.5 million in 2007. Of course, spam remains a hugely significant vector of attack for deploying these new malware variants. One in five businesses that responded to the Webroot survey say that they had experienced a threat to sensitive or confidential online information during the course of 2007.

"Huge amounts of spam and malware can easily overwhelm the networks of small and mid-size businesses and, in some cases, even small countries. In our survey, more than half of the respondents said that they suffered spyware and virus attacks via email," added Irwin. "Because existing defences are getting over-run, large numbers of companies are increasingly losing important data. Spam is growing in relation to the importance of email as a business communications tool."

Some of the key findings of the research include:

  • More than half surveyed experienced spyware and virus attacks via email and over 40 percent experienced a phishing attack
  • Over 60 percent of respondents had at least one email outage in 2007
  • One out of three survey respondents said that the hourly cost of an email outage is over $1,000
  • Individual email users open messages before realising they are spam, open messages in junk folders and even make purchases from emails marked as spam
  • One out of three organisations reported employee misuse of email resources
About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to Forbes.com, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

jwenting 1,713 duckman Team Colleague

ONLY 42000?
I'm currently getting something like 2000+ per DAY, That's 42000 every 2 weeks or so...

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