Spam menace forces purchase of immature technology

While analysts claim antispam solutions are still a relatively immature technology, IT managers say they have to buy them, because the escalating problem is impossible to ignore.

With up to 75 percent of all incoming mail likely to be spam or junk commonly carrying malicious code, Gartner research director Steve Bittinger said the spam problem is too serious for organizations to even hesitate.

The spam filtering market may be immature with myriad solutions from unknown startups but Bittinger said the difference between having "any tool and not having a tool to fight spam is huge".

Gartner predicts that three quarters of current antispam vendors will disappear by the end of this year as it is a market ripe for consolidation.

“There are plenty of companies that will tell you they will help you fight spam, and most of them will help in some way,” Bittinger said.

“However, the level of effectiveness you get with your chosen tool to fight spam depends on the amount of money, effort and time you’re willing to spend.”

Put simply, he said organizations should be wary when purchasing spam technology.

“There is a huge range of products out there in the market, so it really is a case of buyer beware; don't be fooled into thinking it will solve all your problems,” Bittinger said.

Claiming spam was getting totally out of hand, Divine Limited computer support, Jon Ang, said there was little choice but to buy a filtering system.

He said spam costs a lot of money and productivity downtime is huge.

“I really believe every company should have some sort of antispam technology in place. We introduced our solution last year because we were getting flooded with spam; it was getting ridiculous," Ang said.

Thiess IT operations manager Chris Nolan said antispam technology is certainly effective.

Nolan subscribes to a service with all e-mail going through a dedicated server before delivery.

Regardless of analyst warnings, he said every organization has to have a system in place to fight spam to stem productivity issues, not to mention the nuisance factor.

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