Increased Email Usage Poses Security Threat

At the end of 2000, 12 percent of business-to-business (B2B) invoices among companies with at least $100 million in revenue were electronic, according to Gartner. Gartner analysts expect that number to grow to 40 percent by 2004. Initiatives to move Help desk and marketing communications from paper, fax, and voice to email are well under way. And in the wake of the anthrax contamination, Gartner anticipates that some companies will receive US mail at a central facility, irradiate it, then forward electronic images to the intended recipients.

The upsurge in email will require IT administrators to improve security. In fact, according to a recent study by International Computer Security Association (ICSA), 87 percent of all viruses enter organizations through email, as Graph 1 shows. As email volume picks up, companies will be compelled to install robust antispam and antivirus protection at the desktop, messaging server, and Internet boundary levels.

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