NEW YORK -- MessageLabs, a leading provider of integrated messaging and web security services to businesses worldwide, today announced the results of its MessageLabs Intelligence Report for March 2007. Quarter on quarter spam levels have raised to 76.3 percent, their highest in two years. Virus and botnet activity has also increased. The report highlights the impact of increased spam levels on small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) as these organizations receive more than double the volume of spam per user each month than in enterprise organizations.
While spam levels for the month of March decreased by 2.6 percent from February, MessageLabs saw an overall increase in spam for the first quarter of 2007. Spammers do not distinguish between the sizes of organizations being targeted; smaller businesses will receive just as much spam as larger enterprises but are less likely to have defense systems in place. For small businesses, spam can very quickly become a silent killer, overwhelming the resources of the mail system before any effective countermeasures can be enforced.
This month, MessageLabs also conducted research into the threats and challenges faced by small businesses today. The findings of this research are published in a separate report that can be found at www.messagelabs.com/smbresearch
Today, spam is considered a side effect of email, said Mark Sunner, Chief Security Analyst, MessageLabs. The majority of small businesses view spam as an ongoing irritation rather than a real threat and have given up on dealing with the issue only to find that bad guys target them even more aggressively. If the first quarter data tells us anything, its that malicious activity in the form of spam will only continue on an upward trend.