Spam's Not Dead, It's Getting Smarter


So, if Cisco's research is correct, maybe the floodtide of spam has finally broken. I kind of doubt it, but as squishy as the numbers are, I know that I'm not getting anywhere the amount of spam that I was a year ago. The company says that the worldwide volume of spam has been cut from 300 billion messages a day in June 2010, to this June's 40 billion messages a day.


That doesn't mean good news, though: Cisco's analysis indicates that whereas the mass e-mail attacks we've grown familiar with are declining, targeted e-mail attacks are up. That's not good, as these are far more likely to count coup on a victim than mass attacks are, and can be devastating to a business if a senior officer is the target.Cisco's analysis goes on to point out that the cost to reputation may far exceed actual loss, even if that includes the amount spent on remediation. The study indicates that for every dollar actually lost to online criminal activity, organizations spend $2.10 per user on remediation, and the damage to the reputation costs $6.40. That's a serious financial impact, whether you're the Main Street diner, or an international bank that plays with billions.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure there's a bright side to this, unless you're in the business of network security.