Saving SMBs from Spam and Malware: Up to the Task?

Anyone with an email account is used to spam, those obnoxious marketing emails that often promote scams or even contain viruses and malware. But spam is not just a problem afflicting private consumers. As evidenced by a recent survey conducted on behalf of web/email software security provider GFI Software, SMBs are also having major problems caused by spam.

The survey of 202 IT decision-makers in US firms with between five and 1,000 employees reveals 44% of respondents have had a security breach resulting from a spam email, while another 6% aren’t sure. Almost three-quarters (72%) say they get too much spam, and 52% say their spam volume has increased in the past year.

Despite the prevalence of spam as a problem, only 20% of SMBs use an antispam software solution and 14% use a cloud-based solution, while 11% use an antispam gateway device and almost half (48%) simply use the antispam component of their email program. Looking at companies with between 50 and 99 employees, two-third (67%) rely on the antispam solution included in their email package. Not surprisingly, 70% of respondents characterize their antispam technology as marginally (60%) effective or not effective at all (10%).

Spam is often more than a nuisance or time-waster for SMBs. The top concern that companies have about spam (29% of all respondents) is that it can harbor malicious links or files that compromise the network. The second largest concern is the threat of phishing attacks delivered by spam.

MSPs Can Provide Multilayered Defense

Based on the results of this survey, GFI recommends SMBs adopt a multilayered defense against spam, using both on-premise and cloud components. And while naturally GFI provides this very type of defense, MSPs should take heed both of this survey’s results and the recommendation.

Spam is a major problem for SMBs who are already fighting numerous other IT fires and probably lack the time or knowhow  to do much more than use the prepackaged spam filters that come with their email. MSPs should be ready to step in with comprehensive, tailored, multilayered defensive solutions that stop spam from every conceivable angle. This defensive strategy should also account for trends like bring your own device (BYOD), as employees checking corporate email accounts from personal, offsite mobile devices adds a whole new wrinkle to the spam issue.

MSPs cannot totally eliminate the threat spam poses to SMBs, but they can minimize it and turn spam from an unknown danger into a manageable risk.
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