Spam Is More Than
Topical White Paper
Topical White Paper Spam is More Than Just Annoying
A Growing Problem in Corporate E-Mail Boxes
Spam has become an increasingly common problem in our everyday lives. It is a problem that
affects not only home users but also corporate computer users as well. Enterprises, governments
and ISPs are trying to address this epidemic but have not been able to find the solution. More than
simply a nuisance, spam significantly impacts worker productivity, creates legal liabilities, introduces
malicious code and constrains network bandwidth.
Reduces Worker Productivity
Unsolicited e-mail messages are often compared to the traditional "Spam fighting is a difficult and
paper junk mail many people receive in their mailboxes at home ever-evolving game. Gartner clients
or at work. They are similar in the sense that they are unwanted, with tools to measure spam report
they are not requested and they are often times unneeded. that as much as 30 percent to 50
Another similarity they share is that it takes time to separate and percent of the messages they receive
throw away the unwanted items versus the ones that are are identified as spam. The
legitimate. Unfortunately with e-mail, the cost to produce and content is becoming increasingly
send Spam is minimal compared to traditional post office mail objectionable, coloring the working
and as a result, the volume is dramatically larger. For an environment of unprotected
individual, sorting out spam can take minutes out of your day. companies and creating human
On a larger enterprise scale, it can mean hundreds of lost hours resources issues."
of productivity every day.
Increases Legal Liabilities Gartner, Inc.
Spam can come in many forms: chain mail, jokes, advertisements,
newsletters or images. Since a user has no control over the
content received, this exposes the individual and the company to potential legal liabilities.
Harassment complaints can be filed by employees who receive lewd and obscene Spam in their
corporate e-mail boxes from external sources and co-workers. Some e-mail applications and Web-
enabled e-mail clients automatically display the HTML and JPEG images embedded within a
message. As a result, child pornography, hate-related messages targeting race, religion or creed and
other inappropriate content could be found in corporate e-mail boxes without ever being requested.
A human resource and legal nightmare.
Constrains Network Bandwidth
Static HTML graphics, JPEG or GIF pictures, interactive flash demonstrations and video files are
bandwidth intensive by themselves. Now imagine an organization receiving multiple e-mail
messages containing these items and these being sent to all the employees of an organization. This
would not only bottleneck all traffic coming into the organization but would also constrain the
ability for e-mails to be sent out from the organization as well. The deluge of Spam can significantly
impact network bandwidth and cripple the ability to perform simple everyday functions. This could
lead to the need for additional bandwidth that would increase costs and would not be necessary
under controlled circumstances.