It has been estimated that nowadays, SPAM, or unsolicited commercial email, accounts for approximately 45% of all emails, or fifteen billion messages per day. It has also been predicted that the number of daily SPAMs will rise to more than fifty billion by 2007, and associated technology costs will reach $200 billion per year.
Our experience as I.T. Service Providers has shown that most firms are able to eliminate over 90% of the inbound messages to their organizations: SPAM.
If your organization is among those ready to take steps to keep SPAM out, you have options. The first step in determining which method will be the most cost effective for your environment is to estimate how much SPAM your organization is currently receiving. Here are some guidelines.
- A little SPAM? 0 to 12 or 15 messages per inbox per day.
- A lot of SPAM? 50 or more messages per inbox per day.
- Somewhere in between.
If you need to prevent a relatively small amount of SPAM, you may be well served by a software program like I Hate SPAM from Sunbelt Software, or SPAM Blocker from Cloudmark. For between $20 and $40 per computer, a program like one of these will generally do an excellent job of keeping SPAM to a minimum. But if you have a lot of SPAM to control, software programs can become inundated, impacting the performance of your computer, and anti-SPAM software programs that run on workstation PCs can’t keep SPAM from entering your network, they just keep it from appearing in your inbox…
They cost more in the $2,000.00 and up range, but if you have a large of amount of SPAM to control, and you want to keep SPAM completely off your network without impacting the performance of your workstation or file server machines, a hardware SPAM device such as the Barracuda SPAM Firewall may be the best fit for your organization.
A hardware SPAM firewall is a self-contained appliance that is installed on your network between your internet connection and your email server. The SPAM firewall checks every email message, and if it is determined to be SPAM, it is not even allowed to enter your network! Keeping SPAM completely off your network both foils SPAMMERS and enables your server and workstation machines to perform to their fullest, unencumbered by the unending task of SPAM prevention.
Hardware SPAM firewalls incorporate the positive attributes of their software counterparts such as ease of use and individualized end user “white-” and “black-lists,” while simultaneously benefiting from powerful collective Bayesian logic, and the combined knowledge bases of several trusted online sources who daily publish lists of known SPAMMERS. All this means that SPAM originating from a known SPAMMER will be blocked from your network at the gate, and since many SPAM firewalls also remove viruses, your likelihood of getting a virus through an email message is practically nil. As an added benefit, you limit employee reading solely to business-related materials.