Spam Crisis – Over!?

fred Wilson writes that the spam probem has been solved. He quotes from a ZDnet article:

Myth: Corporations can’t deal with the spam flood.
Reality: Yeah, they can. Using CNET as an example, our server-side spam filtering works really well. In fact, the IS guys recently told me I could stop using MailFrontier on my PC and just let their mail servers kill spam. Yeah, right. But that night I apprehensively switched off MailFrontier and went home, expecting an onslaught of spam the next morning. Nope. No perceptible increase at all. And that was almost two weeks ago. Server-side filtering works well.

Myth: Spam is costing corporations a fortune to manage.
Reality: The server-side spam blocker SpamAssassin is open source, and it’s free. Meanwhile, disk storage is the fastest decreasing expense item in all of IT, and IT will continue to shrink. (How do you think Gmail can offer the unwashed masses a gig of online storage?) And it seems nonsensical that corporations are spending money on lots of extra bandwidth just to handle the volume of spam. All of their bandwidth needs are increasing, and spam e-mail is just a part of that.

Myth: “I can’t get anything done because I have so much spam to deal with.”
Reality: You’re sandbagging.

Now, if your company isn’t filtering spam at the server, it’s their fault you’re swamped. If they are filtering it and you’re still bamboozled by the fraction of spam that does get through, then the hum of the air conditioner must also be killing you.

I agree with Fred and ZDnet — but I have a vested interested, considering we have a solution for corporates – Emergic CleanMail – which does just that (server-side filtering).

Matt Blumberg has some additional thoughts. “I’m not sure as Fred says the crisis is over — but I think it’s on the way to being minimized…I’m happy to say Spam isn’t still in Crisis Mode, but it’s not resolved either — how about Approaching Denoument?”

On a related note, WSJ writes:

Last month, MessageLabs Inc., a company that issues monthly reports on spam, said that 84% of all e-mail sent was junk mail, after hitting a peak of 95% in July. But rival Brightmail Inc. put the number at 66%. Competitors Postini Inc. and FrontBridge Technologies Inc. both issued estimates somewhere in between. Disparities in the data have been even greater in the past. All of the companies sell antispam software.

Furthermore, the estimates show conflicting trends. FrontBridge and Brightmail, for instance, says the spam problem continues to escalate, while Postini’s numbers show it has peaked. AOL, meanwhile, says it blocks between two billion and 2.5 billion spam messages a day, and that has held steady for the past year.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.