Could the cloud solve your business’ spam problems?

Over the past five years, the amount of spam being delivered to e-mail servers around the world has increased dramatically. It’s estimated that, currently, over 90 percent of e-mails delivered worldwide are spam e-mails.

This means that while you may be able to effectively filter emails in house, it will require increasing resources, to manage and maintain.

Consider this. Your business receives 10,000 e-mails per day. That’s 8,000 e-mails that must be analysed and inspected by your anti-spam software each day. Then another system must scan each e-mail and its attachments to ensure that they do not contain malicious software.

At this point, your business should start to think about implementing a gateway type anti-spam server on separate hardware to deal with this burden.

While there is nothing wrong with this type of solution, it has its limitations. First, it’s another piece of hardware to run, cool and keep secure—the server must be licensed and up to date at all times. It also must be monitored and kept under warranty.

Could all of these costs can be avoided by moving to services that filter and deliver e-mail in the cloud?

Moving these services into the cloud can have other benefits, too. In addition to those previously mentioned, cloud anti-spam services can often filter e-mails with a higher accuracy than internal anti-spam systems.

This is due to cloud-based systems learning from the sheer volume of mail passing through them, allowing them to provide more accurate filtering. This can be tweaked even further by industry specific filtering, ensuring no e-mails are falsely blocked.

While this approach can save your business money, how can you ensure that the systems are available at all times? Moving this service into the cloud can increase availability as the services split between many physical servers in the cloud.

In addition to the large amount of redundant hardware, you should also have excellent connectivity to the anti-spam services which should in theory, be available 24/7.

While your anti-spam servers may be able to scan infected e-mails with updates released several times a day, cloud-based solution should provide zero-day exploit protection, meaning as soon as a new virus is detected, the system is able to detect and remove it.

Good cloud anti-spam solutions help to protect inbound and outbound businesses e-mail from spam, viruses, phishing scams, and e-mail policy violations. You might want to consider one to help your business get spam under control.

Christian Harris is editor and publisher of BCW. Christian has over 20 years' publishing experience and in that time has contributed to most major IT magazines and Web sites in the UK. He launched BCW in 2009 as he felt there was a need for honest and personal commentary on a wide range of business computing issues. Christian has a BA (Hons) in Publishing from the London College of Communication.