Messaging Pipeline | Small Businesses Get Four Times The Spam Of Larger Enterprises: Study
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January 30, 2006

Small Businesses Get Four Times The Spam Of Larger Enterprises

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Small companies were sent almost 50 spam emails per day per user in 2005, up from 36 in 2004. This represents four times the number that employees at large companies were sent daily on average last year (12 per user per day in 2005 versus three in 2004). This according to an annual report by Postini, a provider of message management solutions.

The reason for this is that smaller businesses are more prevalent in targeted industries such as publishing, advertising, legal, and real estate, according to Andrew Lochart, senior director of marketing at Postini. "These are industries where you have 100 percent white collar workers whose email addresses are very well known in the world," said Lochart. "It's very easy for spammers to get hold of these email addresses.

Another theory is that spammers may presume that larger companies are able to afford strong anti-spam measures, and may not try to infiltrate them as frequently, said Lochart.

"What makes it a problem, regardless of why, is that smaller companies are the ones who have fewer defenses in place," said Lochart. "There are no large dedicated IT staffs in place, or large budgets for technology, so it's a double whammy."

Another problem for small businesses is that the influx of additional email messages strains the mail server. In effect, you are asking the email server to process five to 10 times the email it has to. "When you have an email server like Microsoft Exchange, which is the most common for small businesses, you end up buying more hardware than you need in order to process the spam you've let in," said Lochart.

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