44 Percent of U.S. Businesses Say Their Networks Have Been Breached Due To Malware-Laden Spam

Companies most concerned that spam can harbor malicious links or files that compromise the network, according to GFI Software research

March 2, 2012

4 Min Read


Clearwater, Fla. – March 1, 2012 – GFI' Software today released research showing that U.S. businesses are still struggling to deal with the spam problem, and that nearly half of them have experienced a data breach as a result of employees clicking on malicious links or files within spam emails.

The independent blind survey of 202 IT decision makers in U.S. organizations with between 5 and 1,000 employees was conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of GFI Software. It reveals their opinions about the level of spam entering their organization’s network; the types of solutions they have in place to filter out unwanted messages; the effectiveness of the solutions; their top concerns about spam; and whether they have been breached or infected by malware as a result of spam.

Key highlights from the survey include:

44% of respondents indicate that their organization has been breached as a result of spam email, and 6% simply don’t know if they have been breached.

72% say they receive too much spam.

84% of those surveyed say the volume of spam in their organization has either increased (52%) or remained the same (32%) in the past year.

48% rely on the anti-spam component of their antivirus solution to block spam; 20% use a software solution for anti-spam; only 14% use a cloud-based solution to filter email; 11% have an anti-spam gateway appliance.

70% say their anti-spam solution is either marginally effective (60%) or not effective at all (10%).

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.

90% of companies say they regularly educate their employees about the risks of opening spam messages.

“This research shows that the spam problem is not going away, and in fact, the delivery of malicious links and files makes it more dangerous than ever before,” said Phil Bousfield, general manager of GFI Software’s Infrastructure Business Unit. “Businesses need to respond by taking advantage of all the latest spam-fighting technologies available to them. The most effective way to stop spam is to employ a multi-layered defense that encompasses on-premise and cloud-based anti-spam solutions.”

Cloud-Based Email Security Adds New Layer of Defense

The survey shows that a majority of organizations rely heavily on the anti-spam component of their antivirus solution to filter out unwanted or harmful messages. This is especially true of organizations with between 50 and 99 employees, where a staggering 67% take this approach. Antivirus solutions are an effective component of a multi-layered spam defense. A comprehensive anti-spam solution, however, incorporates a combination of defenses located on premise and in the cloud, which GFI Software provides through its GFI MailEssentials™, GFI MailSecurity™ and GFI MailEssentials Complete Online product offerings.

GFI MailEssentials Complete Online is the latest addition to GFI Software’s mail defense suite. This cloud-based service delivers fast, accurate response against inbound and outbound spam attacks and full defense against viruses, Trojans, spyware, worms, bots, rootkits, zero-hour exploits and other threats.

“The increasing volume of email-borne threats—coupled with an organization’s need to balance security and infrastructure costs—is a growing burden on IT administrators looking to find the optimum and most cost-effective approach to email security,” added Bousfield. “Cloud-based anti-spam solutions like GFI MailEssentials Complete are increasingly being deployed by businesses to bolster their existing email defense.”

Full survey results are available upon request.

To learn about GFI MailEssentials Complete Online, call 1-888-243-4329, email [email protected] or visit www.gfi.com to download a free trial.

About GFI GFI Software provides web and mail security, archiving and fax, networking and security software and hosted IT solutions for small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) via an extensive global partner community. GFI products are available either as on-premise solutions, in the cloud or as a hybrid of both delivery models. With award-winning technology, a competitive pricing strategy, and a strong focus on the unique requirements of SMBs, GFI satisfies the IT needs of organizations on a global scale. The company has offices in the United States, UK, Austria, Australia, Malta, Hong Kong, Philippines and Romania, which together support hundreds of thousands of installations worldwide. GFI is a channel-focused company with thousands of partners throughout the world and is also a Microsoft Gold ISV Partner.

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