Email volume has been growing 40 percent annually over the past 20 years
White Paper: Controlling Unwanted Content
Email: Inherent Dangers
EMAIL IS UNIVERSAL
With over 400 million corporate email boxes worldwide, no other business communications tool matches the popularity of email. From a usage perspective, email volume has been growing 40 percent annually over the past 20 years, according to a study by the Gartner Group. Worldwide in 2002, Internet users sent about 14.9 billion emails per day and four trillion emails per year. By 2005, this number will more than triple – to a staggering 35 billion emails a day. Currently, the average employee receives 30 emails per day. These statistics alone not only demonstrate the popularity of email, but also the power it yields. 1
EMAIL IS EASY TO ABUSE
Because email is so easy and so instant, it can easily and instantly endanger an enterprise’s network security and corporate integrity by transporting more than just business-critical communications. Email is today’s superhighway being used by worm authors and spammers to on-ramp destructive viruses and bandwidth-clogging spam. According to the Gartner Group, anywhere from 30–50 percent or more of messages received by enterprises are malicious (viruses) or junk (spam). Furthermore, employees are also contributing to email abuse by intentionally spreading sexually- and racially-insensitive material – actions that are resulting in legal liability and corporate defamation.
BEYOND VIRUSES AND SPAM: CONTENT CONTROL Almost all enterprises are familiar with the most common email threats: viruses and spam. And many enterprises have implemented solutions to deal with these threats. However, not all email-borne threats are viruses or spam, so email filters must also be able to detect messages that contain other types of unwanted content or attachments.
While filtering email for spam will help control unwanted content from getting inside the business email network, spam filtering and content filtering are not the same. Controlling unwanted content and attachments requires a unique and separate solution in order to be fully effective.
IDC, Channel One Internet Marketing Strategy Report, March 2003
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