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Living with Spam

Examination
   

FILTERS TO THE RESCUE, MOSTLY

March 2020 | Nextworks


As of March 2019, spam accounts for 56% of all Internet email traffic. Spam has seen highs of 70% in the past. Spam is in fact decreasing, as many spammers are refocusing on those horrible robocalls and texting. Nevertheless, fighting spam remains a continuous battle.


Spam Filters

For each spam that arrives in your Inbox, tens, or more likely hundreds, were blocked before ever reaching you. Spammers are constantly changing their tactics, and spam filters are constantly adapting. It’s a game of cat and mouse.

All of Nextworks’ Managed Services clients have a spam filter in effect, using either Microsoft, Google, or Proofpoint. Nevertheless, some spam will always get through.

Spam Filter Metrics


Latest Spam Tactic

In an attempt to get past the filters many spammers are now taking a targetted approach. Automated bulk emails sent from a generic email address are easy to detect. But personal, direct emails from an individual to an individual are much more difficult to filter. While the spammer cannot send as many emails this way, their much fewer emails are highly focused, and they get through.

This tactic is called Phishing. These emails may appear to come from someone you know. Or worse yet, people you know will receive “spoofed” emails that appear to be from you. (They are not actually from you. They may come from a Gmail account setup in your name.)

At this time, there is little that spam filters can do to prevent this.


Blacklisting & Whitelisting

The use of "blocked sender lists" and "safe sender lists" allow you to specify email addresses or entire domain names to block or allow. This can be done on an individual level or done for the entire organization. Nextworks can assist at support@next-works.com.

It’s fruitless to blacklist each spam that gets through the filter. Blacklisting is useful in the event that a particular entity is repeatedly harassing you or your organization.


Quarantines

With some spam filters, such as Proofpoint, certain emails may sit on the fence. These emails are placed into quarantine for daily review. Newsletters, product announcement, or other (legitimate) bulk emails may often fall into this category. If your spam filter uses a quarantine, you will receive a daily email listing what emails have been placed on hold before delivery.


Contact Nextworks today for a no cost Security and Network Assessment.


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