Evolutionary step change in anti-spam sector

The rate of evolution in the anti-spam sector of the IT security industry has reached fever pitch, with spammers responsible for a twofold rise in traffic in a matter of months, phishing attacks having increased dramatically and image spam now accounting for approximately 30% of all emails distributed worldwide.
The rate of change has accelerated to such an extent that a further doubling of the amount of traffic which is currently online is anticipated as quickly as May 2007. Spam now stands at approximately 97% of all email traffic distributed and many businesses are struggling to cope with the scale of the issue.
Email management specialist Email Systems has witnessed a significant upturn in demand for services since July 2006. Specifically, many users that do not use a web-based managed service, instead relying on locally installed software or hardware, have found that email is becoming virtually unusable, with networks clogging due to a lack of available resource.
Of this remarkable rise in the volume of activity, image spam now accounts for approximately 30% of emails, with spammers using images as vehicles to attempt to evade detection, potentially altering just one pixel in each email in an attempt to mark the message as unique.
Phishing has too become such a major issue that it is driving industry-wide adoption of the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) initiative, which is estimated to now be used by approximately 45% of email users worldwide. This initiative attempts to unmask phishing emails which intend to defraud the recipient by challenging incoming mails to determine whether the given IP address is the actual IP address of the sender.
Finally, such has been the rate of change in the sector that approximately 30% of all legitimate emails sent by business users are now being sent by TLS encryption, indicating the growing nature of concern over the safety of data whilst in transit.
Neil Hammerton, CEO of Email Systems, commented: “There is no doubt in my mind that our sector is currently undergoing a considerable change, with the pace quickening significantly and the many problems which have sprung up in recent years having evolved to become potentially business-critical threats, as opposed to merely irritants, for the majority of users. We continue to invest significantly in IT infrastructure, ensuring that the level of redundancy on our service keeps pace with the massive surge in volumes, thereby ensuring that our customer’s service remains unaffected irrespective of the level of attacks taking place.”

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