Spam email has evolved far past the point of being merely a nuisance aiming to sell a product or service. The International Computer Security Association points to spam email messages year after year as the most prolific spreader of viruses. In fact, today’s spam, regardless how innocuous it may appear, can serve as a delivery system for spyware, worms, Trojan horse and other viruses, keystroke loggers, and denial of service attacks.
With these capabilities, spam has become an essential tool of corporate espionage. Once a business’s computer network has been infected, there may be no limit to what private data the spam source gains access to, and there’s certainly no limit to the costs and damage that can result.
The implications go far beyond simple theft of money, user IDs, passwords, account numbers, and other private data. It can be catastrophic enough when a business is targeted, but often the same private information of business partners, customers, or clients is targeted as well. Such a lapse in guarding entrusted information can single-handedly destroy any company’s reputation and can expose it to serious liability.
Theft is a short-term goal, however; when one business entity spies on another, the situation can be much worse.
With malware delivered through spam, access can be gained to all manner of company records and communications. Business plans, trade secrets, marketing strategies, contract bids – the list of inside information that can be compromised is endless, as are the ways in which the competition can use it to their advantage.
Computer-based corporate espionage scandals have surfaced around the globe in recent years. In some instances, companies were directly spying on their competition. More commonly, though, capable and driven spam gangs have used these spy tactics to obtain valuable information which they offer for sale to potentially interested parties.
Clearly, managing your business’ email security has never been more important. Spam can no longer be regarded as just an annoyance or even a costly waste of time. The threats now posed by spam to a company’s financial well-being, its reputation, and its future are very real and mandate an investment in the most thorough, effective spam and virus protection available.
Posted in: Email Security