• United States
Contributing Writer

Marketeers: Is your message getting through?

Mar 20, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMalware

* What are you doing about spam?

What’s one of the biggest headaches for IT professionals today? Spam. What can they do about it? Not a heck of a whole lot.

Sure, I’ll get e-mails fired off to me within ten seconds of this hitting your in-boxes touting this software package and that software package. But truth be told, we have not hit the nail on the head to eliminate a majority of the spam crossing our networks.

Even the stuff that I see as a no-brainer still eludes some of the most sophisticated filters. Why? The spammers do their dirty work through photos and know how to jimmy the subject and body of the text to throw off filter programs.

Now the government wants to enact laws that will punish spammers. That’s all well and good, but if they’ve eluded filters which, in essence are trying to mark something as good or bad, what makes the government think they won’t elude them, too.

Who’s going to enforce the laws? What if the spam – as much of it is – is coming from some offshore server that’s impossible to track? What kind of punishment are you going to offer up? Will it be enough to counteract the reward spammers reap when they find a “live body” attached to an address?

Yet, on the corporate side, the risks associated with spam are growing daily. Liability is just one of the many problems facing IT organizations that are not able to adequately filter out the noise. There’s the problem of bandwidth consumption – the more media-rich these spam messages become, the more bandwidth they consume. There’s the issue of personnel hours. Surely, by now, many of you have a staff member or two dedicated to checking captured spam. That’s a lot of effort. And what about productivity? A certain portion of my messaging time each day is spent trashing spam messages. Multiply that by the amount of colleagues I have and that’s a lot of lost productivity.

Where is the breaking point? When does the benefit of using e-mail fall victim to the time spent dealing with spam? Will we eventually shy away from today’s e-mail programs to something more closed-loop and proprietary? What do you think? Let me know at