Survey Shows Employees Want Employers to Block Offensive Spam

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Sophos conducted a poll of more than 1,000 computer users at small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) regarding the issue of spam.

The poll revealed that only 13 percent of workers believe that their employers should not be held responsible for blocking offensive email from being delivered into employees’ inboxes. More than 50 percent of those polled, however, felt that employers should take preventative measures to ensure that spam containing violent, pornographic and other offensive content is not delivered to the organization’s staff.

In a separate poll* conducted in April 2004 of nearly 4,000 small- to medium-sized businesses, Sophos found that 80% of companies identified spam as a cause of lost productivity, yet only 28% had an anti-spam solution in place. Taken together, the two polls clearly show a need for spam protection in the SMB market.

“Although many organizations today, regardless of size, recognize the value of and actually deploy dependable spam protection, our poll shows that only about a quarter of all SMBs have anti-spam software in place,” said Gregg Mastoras, senior security analyst at Sophos, Inc. “Many modest sized businesses with limited budgets may accept spam as a fact of life because they view anti-virus and other security measures as far more critical. As viruses and spam continue to converge, all organizations need to re-examine their current gateway and even desktop security strategy to address the evolving threats from all fronts.”

Besides offending and distracting personnel, unfiltered spam also wastes valuable time and network resources, resulting in a significant loss of revenue for businesses. Sophos spam experts estimate that unsolicited marketing emails account for more than 50 percent of all email traffic, and this figure is expected to increase in the next year.

“Employers should also consider how they can increase protection against liability exposure from inappropriate communications,” continued Mastoras. “By setting up proactive internal controls for ensuring compliance, companies would be able to define, configure, monitor and enforce their message-handling policies easily. In addition, implementing and enforcing a best practice policy regarding email account usage can be an effective tool for minimizing the amount of spam that end users receive. While having such a policy should not be considered a complete solution, the enforcement of such a policy can serve as a significant line of defense against unwanted email.”

In April, Sophos released its Sophos Small Business Suite, which combines full protection against viruses, spam and other email-borne security threats. Designed to minimize the cost, management and maintenance of complete gateway protection, the Sophos Small Business Suite automatically downloads the latest virus and spam protection. By filtering email at the Exchange or SMTP gateway, neither end-users nor administrators need to deal with offensive email, and the network runs more efficiently as it no longer has to process unwanted messages.

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Survey Shows Employees Want Employers to Block Offensive Spam
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