SMBs Inundated by Spam, Say Solutions Only Marginally Effective

March 9, 2012

gfi-smbs-spam-volume-march2012.jpg52% of US SMBs say that the volume of spam their organization receives has increased over the past year, compared to just 16% who say that it has decreased, according to survey results released in March 2012 by GFI Software. With 72% saying they are receiving too much spam, it is not surprising that 70% consider their anti-spam solution to be either ineffective (10%) or only marginally effective (60%).

The situation seems to be even more dire among UK respondents: 61% say spam has increased over the past year, compared to 14% who say it has decreased. Additionally, three-quarters say they receive too much spam.

Security is Top Concern

gfi-top-smb-spam-concerns-march-2012.jpgSecurity concerns clearly are at the forefront of respondents’ issues with spam. 29% of US SMBs and 23% of those in the UK said their top concern is malicious links and files harbored by spam, ahead of phishing attacks (22% for both groups), reduced responsiveness of their email server (15% for US, 20% for UK) and low productivity (15% for both groups).

These concerns appear well-founded: 44% of respondents in the US and 40% in the UK say they have suffered an IT breach due to malware-laden spam. According to a September 2011 study from Norton by Symantec and StrategyOne, 54% of online adults have experienced malware or viruses on their computers.

US SMBs Early Adopters of Cloud Solutions

Meanwhile, data from the GFI report indicates that US SMBs are ahead of the curve when it comes to using new technologies to combating spam: 14% have adopted cloud-based solutions to battle spam, compared to just 8% of UK respondents. Even so, the leading anti-spam solution is an antivirus security suite, used by 48% of US respondents and 46% in the UK. Roughly 1 in 5 rely on an anti-spam software solution, while anti-spam gateway appliances are more popular among UK than US respondents (22% vs. 11%).

Other Findings:

  • Reliance on anti-spam capabilities of an antivirus security suite is most prevalent among businesses with 50-99 employees.
  • 5% of SMBs in the US and UK say they do not use an anti-spam solution.
  • 90% of respondents in the US, and 86% in the UK say they regularly educate employees on the risks of opening spam.

About the Data: The independent blind survey of 200 US and 200 UK IT decision makers in organizations with between 5 and 1,000 employees was conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of GFI Software.

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