Outbound spam or unsolicited bulk email (also known as “UBE”) is a term used to refer to the sending of unwanted messages from your server to an external recipient. While most of us are used to receiving spam emails, most individuals are shocked when they discover that their email account has been sending spam to friends, family members, and business contacts.
For businesses, the effects of spam can be even more detrimental than an individual account. The first most damaging effect is the trust your customers and clients had in your organization. Once one scary spam email is received, you are likely to land on their “blocked” list and very few customers will bother to “unblock” you once the issue has been cleared up.
Another negative outcome is that personal information and critical private business data can be stolen through spam. According to one report posted on Spam Laws, scam and fraudulent spam messages accounted for only 2.5% of all spam email. Identity theft (otherwise known as “phishing”) accounts for 73% of all spam messages.
A Look At The Statistics
Spam messages total to well over 14 billion messages worldwide each and every day. Some reports state that spam emails make up to 45% of all emails received while others believe that the number can be as high as 73%.
Radicati Research Group Inc. in Palo Alto estimates that spam is costing businesses $20.5 billion every single year not only in technical expenses, but also in decreased productivity. Another research firm, Nucleus Research, has stated that the average loss per employee each year because of spam is over $1900.
How To Protect Yourself From Outbound Spam
Most outbound spam in organizations originates from servers from one of the following two sources:
- a) Exploited or insecure scripts, web applications and FTP accounts
- b) Exploited and/or compromised email accounts.
It is crucial for enterprises to have a reliable outgoing threat protection system n place if they hope to be able to keep their private information safe.
The majority of outbound spam originates from zombie PCs. A zombie PC (also known as a “bot”) is a computer which a remote hacker has gained unauthorized access to and has set up forward transmissions like spam, malware and viruses to other computers on the Internet. Many of these zombie PC attacks are malicious, are performed for financial gain and are part of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.
Outbound spam mitigation is a component to DDoS mitigation. DDoS mitigation involves a series of techniques which can effectively resist distributed DDoS attacks on any of your networks which are attached to the Internet by being able to protect the target and relay networks.
The key to protecting yourself form outbound spam and other cyber attacks is to invest in a system which has been developed by a reliable communications company and which is updated regularly. Many of the top providers offer flexible and customizable solutions to ensure that your email and networks remain protected no matter what attackers may virtually throw your way.