Email:A Growing Security Threat. Protect Your Network.

Security software company Webroot Software released the results of its most recent State of Internet Security Report – Protecting Business Email.
For the SOIS report, Webroot surveyed 1,500 email security product decision makers in companies across seven countries. The report finds that close to 80% of U.S. businesses surveyed experienced a spam attack last year while half also experienced spyware, virus and phishing attacks. The report discusses these attacks in-depth while also offering helpful information on legal compliance, internal sabotage and the type of protection you need to keep your business safe from attack.

Key Findings:
Risks to and from Email are Prevalent

  • More than half surveyed experienced spyware and virus attacks via email and over 40 percent experienced a phishing attack;
  • About one out of five organizations reported that sensitive online transactions were threatened and confidential information was compromised as a result of spam;
  • Over 60 percent of respondents had at least one email outage in 2007; and
  • One out of three survey respondents said that the hourly cost of an email outage is over $1,000.

Employee Behavior Increases Email Security Risks

  • Individual email users open messages before realizing they are spam, open messages in junk folders and even make purchases from emails marked as spam;
  • The 2007 eCrime Watch report found that current employees were second only to hackers as groups that pose the greatest cyber security threat to organizations; and
  • One out of three organizations reported employee misuse of email resources.

Few Companies Have Protective Policies in Place

  • Less than a third of organizations surveyed have key employee email security policies in place; and,
  • Less than half of companies with more than 100 computers have policies in place to restrict employees’ personal email use.

How to Protect Your Network:
Begin with common sense –

  • Be careful when opening attachments
  • DO NOT click on links within an email unless you are 100% sure of the source (NEVER click on links in emails claiming to be from PayPal or your bank – instead go directly to the website from your browser, or pick up the phone and call the company to see if the request is real.)
  • Beware of viruses embedded in HTML emails
  • Make sure your network has an antispam filter
  • Have an antivirus program that scans emails and attachments before you open them
  • Use antispyware protection and keep it up to date
  • Consider using email encryption, especially if you transmit sensitive company and/or customer information
  • Institute and enforce policies to restrict personal email use by employees