Spam and its cost to business

The cost of spamming

Spam is the source of two major expenses, particularly for companies: an economic cost and an ecological cost. Each year, these expenses amount to several million euros, and are borne solely by the companies. This sum includes many kinds of expenses, but not the frustration and stress caused by spam in employees’ working lives.

Elements included in the spam cost calculation

We know that companies spend several million euros on spam, but what’s the breakdown? First and foremost is the decline in productivity of the company’s employees. Despite the installation of an anti-spam filter on the work tool, some illicit mail still manages to slip through the net. Even if the user loses only a few minutes sorting, opening and deleting each spam message he receives, dealing with a dozen or so can take an inordinate amount of time, which he won’t be able to make up for. The average employee receives around twenty spam messages a day.

Infrastructure costs are also a burden for companies, especially when it comes to securing in-house e-mail servers. It will first have to invest in the purchase of an anti-spam software license and possibly an anti-virus license. Secondly, maintenance and updating will generate fixed monthly costs for the company. What’s more, it will be further penalized by the saturation of its bandwidth and server, not to mention the disks it will have to acquire to store these illicit mails.

Once spam has invaded a company’s IT structure, causing considerable damage such as reputational damage, malware implantation, denial-of-service attacks or theft of confidential data, restructuring will require not only a huge investment, but also time.

As for the ecological cost of spam, it’s currently starting to make waves. Their life cycle, starting with their creation, dispatch, storage and filtering, releases around 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide or CO2 every year, according to the experts, with several tens of billions of spam messages circulating on the networks every year.

How can you limit costs and protect yourself from spam?

The best way to limit the cost of spam would be to teach company employees how to deal with spam. We recommend, for example, that you do not open or respond to e-mails that are likely to be spam, and that you report them to the anti-spam filter set up on your workstation. Other tips, such as using a disposable address instead of your personal or business address on community sites, or regularly updating your anti-spam and anti-virus software, are more than recommended by computer security editors. Or simply use a SaaS anti-virus and anti-spam service that manages your email security for you.

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