Putting Spam in its place

Considering the importance of email to the modern business possibly even exceeding that of the telephone it is surprising how the technologies that bring it to life, cure some of the bugbears and make it an excellent resource for the company are consistently neglected. In a future blog I will look at more effective ways of using email within the business, by giving others within the organisation access to shared contacts, calendars and group mailboxes, in this blog I want to talk about Spam.

Anyone who has experienced an email outage will tell you how frustrating it can be, while at the same time most of us will moan about the amount of junk email that clutters our inbox and costs us precious hours from our day sorting the wheat from the chaff.

One of the answers to this conundrum is staring us in the face in that your mail client will very often have a spam filter built in to it or just as likely you get one bundled in with your antivirus program. But the fact you are still being deluged by vast quantities of spam every day tells us something is amiss.

This doesn’t need to be the case, there are effective Spam filtering solutions out their but by and large they are not the free ones, as is with spam filtering in common with most things in life you get what you pay for.

The person who coined the word spam consigned it to be the less glamorous and neglected aspect of IT security, somehow spam filtering is perceived to be lower in the order of things than its’  more glamorous relatives Antivirus and the Firewall, when in fact it should be a cornerstone of our strategy.

Tamite IT support of Haywards Heath Sussex are great believers in the efficacy of a robust approach to Spam filtering we are of the opinion that more often like Rooney for England this key player in our IT security strategy is being played out of position. In our view it is most effective when it is used to filter out the spam before it lands on the desktop and in so doing we avoid the risks associated with being buried in a deluge of mail. If we are confronted with a pile of junk mail to sort through it probably means our decision making will be poor, we may open a mail item we shouldn’t, opening ourselves up to all sorts of nasty possibilities ranging from opening the way for our PC to become infected or falling for a scam, (See the Tamite IT Support guide to Phishing and Social engineering). We may also miss a vital lead that was hidden away amongst the dross.

spam-spam-spamTo continue the footballing theme what we really need is a spam filtering service that bites like Suarez.

Tamite IT Support believe the answer is to move the decision making away from your PC up into the Cloud. Spam filtering should not be a neglected part of the IT security armoury relegated to the role of goalkeeper sitting on your desktop. It should in fact be the first line of defence, working as a cloud service, tackling the problem at source and not letting the junk and malicious content anywhere near to your network.

The reality is that a high proportion of the malware and other malicious stuff like Phishing and Spear phishing threats are delivered by email or via social networking. We can learn to be aware of the threats and train our staff to be wary of attachments and links contained in email the criminals perpetrating the threat are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their approach and it is as well to remember that we are only one ill advised click away from disaster.

By using a sophisticated purpose built Spam filtering service in the cloud the majority of the risky items are dealt with safely before they arrive and so never enter our inbox. As a consequence the remaining mail is much reduced allowing us to make better decisions on the mail we are presented with and freeing up time for more important issues.  Now I wonder how England are getting on in the World Cup………………….Oh dear.

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