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Email Spam Problems Overtaken by Leaks

July 19th, 2012 by BrightCloud

Leak ThumbIt’s estimated that over 90% of mail circulating around the internet at any given time is comprised of spam or email viruses.

For some it is such a problem that users receive more spam than they do legitimate emails. Spam email exposes companies to a wide variety of legal, financial and regulatory risks, mainly:

Email Remains Number One Source of Data Leakage

Proofpoint’s annual survey of enterprise attitudes about outbound email, content security and data protection aims to “take the pulse” of IT decision-makers with respect to outbound messaging and data loss issues. The results of the 2010 survey show that while the corporate SMTP email server is no longer the number one source of data loss concern for messaging decision makers (respondents showed a higher level of concern about the physical loss of mobile devices, web-based email and email sent from mobile devices), email remains the number one source of leaks of confidential or proprietary information in the enterprise.

And as new communication technologies—such as social media sites, short messaging services and other web services—gain broader adoption in the enterprise, the level of concern about those technologies and the number of data loss events experienced via those technologies is growing.

In response to the increasing popularity of social media both inside and outside the workplace, this year’s survey examined new policy areas, including how many large enterprises explicitly prohibit the use of various social media technologies, what types of inappropriate content are most commonly found in social media communications and how commonly companies train employees on their web and social media policies.

Over-reliance on Anti-Virus

Despite all these risks many organisations still use the software on the users device as their first line of defence as the. It really needs to be taken care of outside the business in a cloud based model to prevent it getting into the business in the first place.

An independent blind survey of 201 IT decision makers in UK organisations with between 5 and 1,000 employees commissioned by GFI Software revealed that a majority of organisations rely heavily on the anti-spam component of their anti-virus solution to filter out unwanted or harmful messages. This is especially true of organisations with between 50 and 99 employees, where a staggering 64% take this approach. Whilst anti-virus solutions are an effective component of a multi-layered spam defence, a comprehensive anti-spam solution incorporates a combination of defences located on premise and in the cloud.

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