Report Highlights Spam Proportions, New Phishing Tactic

MessageLabs has released its November 2006 Intelligence Report detailing specifics of security and threat activity for the month. Among the highlights of the report: Small businesses (one to 500 employees) are targeted with nearly twice as much spam per user, per month as medium-sized companies (501 to 2,500 employees) and three times more spam than large companies (more than 2,500 employees). These findings are based on a client survey conducted by MessageLabs.

“The problem smaller organizations face is focusing their resources and making sure they have the right systems in place,” said Paul Wood, MessageLabs senior analyst. “When they try and do security themselves in-house, they struggle because having somebody inside your organization who is going to be there to manage your spam or virus problems or generally just manage your e-mails, that’s a very specialist task. In order for them to not only manage the system but also to be on top of the latest trends, technologies and threats that are out there, it’s actually very difficult.”

He also said that while over-the-counter virus protection is simple to install, such a solution accomplishes little.

“Unfortunately, the cybercriminals are one step ahead of that game,” Wood said. “They already have access to that technology, and that’s the technology they’re aggressively trying to defeat.”

So small businesses end up making for what Wood terms “soft targets,” which also explains why they’re targeted with 60 percent more viruses per month than large companies, although this also might…



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