Eleven Spring Survey 2013: Threat From Dangerous E-mails Continues

Drive-by malware is the biggest threat - German IT decision makers: e-mail remains No. 1 business communication means - For e-mail security, the prevention of false positives is key

March 27, 2013

3 Min Read


Berlin, March 26, 2013 - German IT decision makers see no reason to give the all-clear signal when it comes to dangerous or undesired e-mails. This is one of the results of the annual spring survey that Eleven, leading German e-mail security provider, conducted in March 2013. According to the survey, almost half of the respondents (46 percent) expect a further increase in threat levels. An additional 49.2 percent believe that they will at least remain constant in the next few years. None of the companies surveyed think that the threats will decrease. The results are just as clear when it comes to the past twelve months: 88.9 percent said that the threat from spam or malware has remained at the same level (66.7 percent) or has increased (22.2 percent). Only around one-tenth of the respondents (9.5 percent) thought that the threat had grown weaker.

Currently, IT decision makers believe drive-by attacks to be the most dangerous threat to Internet security (41.3 percent). These attacks occur via e-mails with links to Web sites that are manipulated to infect users' computers with malware when the Web sites are opened in a browser. Targeted attacks such as spear phishing (17.5 percent), new virus variants that are not yet detectable by conventional virus scanners (17.5 percent), and attacks on mobile end devices (14.3 percent) are also perceived as threats to German companies.

In the current discussion on whether e-mails have a future as a means of business communication, the majority opinion is straightforward: 90.5 percent of the companies surveyed answered the question with "yes", while only 3.2 percent considered e-mails a phase-out model. When asked what the most important means of business communication would be in three years, over three-quarters of the IT decision makers (77.8 percent) gave "e-mail" as their answer. Instant messaging services were seen by 6.3 percent as the way of the future, so were social networks.

When it comes to e-mail security, the priorities of German companies have undergone a clear shift. Whereas the detection rate was the deciding factor for 61.7 percent of the respondents two years ago, in 2013 this was the case for only 23.6 percent of the companies surveyed. For German IT decision makers, the main task of e-mail security is to prevent the false categorization of legitimate e-mails so they are not rejected as spam. This is why almost 50 percent of the respondents listed the false positive rate of an e-mail security solution as their key selection criteria - two years ago, less than one-third (29.9 percent) gave this response. And against 2012, the trend is obvious: 40.1 percent listed the false positive rate as the most important criterion last year, and 34.4 percent placed more importance on the detection rate.

Since 2008, Eleven has asked IT decision makers in German companies for their opinions about current trends and developments on the subjects of e-mail and Internet security every year for its spring survey.

Eleven on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/elevensecurity

Eleven - E-mail security "Made in Germany" Eleven is a leading e-mail security provider based in Germany. Its unique eXpurgate technology offers a spam filter and e-mail categorization service that protects the user reliably against spam and phishing, detects potentially dangerous e-mail and can distinguish between individual messages and any kind of mass e-mail. eXpurgate also offers numerous virus protection options and a powerful e-mail firewall.

Over 45,000 companies of all sizes use eXpurgate to check and categorize more than a billion e-mail messages every day. Customers include Internet service providers and telecommunication carriers such as T-Online, O2, Kabel Deutschland, 1&1 and freenet as well as many well-known companies and public institutions, including Air Berlin, BMW, the Federal Association of German Banks, DATEV, the Free University of Berlin, Landesbank Berlin, RTL, SAP, ThyssenKrupp and Tobit Software AG. For more information, visit our website at: http://www.eleven.de

Company contact: Eleven GmbH Sascha Krieger Hardenbergplatz 2

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