Increased administrative costs, wasted employee time, compromised storage and bandwidth resources: Junk emails, or ‘spam', are becoming a major problem for UK organisations, according to a recent survey conducted by managed service provider MessageLabs.
According to MessageLabs' research, one in seven of workplace emails are unsolicited, and around 10% of working time per day is spent dealing with spam.
To compound the problem, organisations have difficulty determining which emails may be considered spam, and which may not – leading to ‘all or nothing' attempts to eradicate junk email that fail to recognise the needs and interests of recipients.
"The problem is not only that [spam] gets through, but that firms don't know how to define it. With viruses, it is easy, but one man's spam is potentially another's useful information. Traditional methods of stopping it are not sophisticated enough to make that distinction and have proved ineffective," says Jos White, founder and marketing director at MessageLabs. MessageLabs' new filtering service, Skyscan AS, he adds, uses heuristics technology to build a knowledge base of "spam techniques and behaviour" to proactively identify spam.