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Spam, phishing and mass CC are productivity killers

Spam, in combination with a lack of courtesy when writing a business email, is placing a huge burden on productivity in small businesses, a new study suggests.

An independent blind research conducted by Opinion Matters, and commissioned by GFI Software has shown that ineffective email communication is hurting sales, productivity, customer service and even security.

To be more exact: 45 per cent have said that the sheer number and aggressiveness of spam is the primary hindrance to email use in the workplace. Almost a quarter (22 per cent) pointed to phishing emails as a major business problem, and a further 17 per cent cited the growth of email-based malware, either in the form of infected attachments, or emails that contained linked to malware infected sites.

Unnecessary email traffic from mass CCing of messages was flagged by a solid 28 per cent of the survey sample, pointing to the problems of email overload and inbox congestion.

Nearly 20 per cent also raised issue with the sending of large attachments.

“There has been a marked shift by email scammers to focus on the business community, rather than consumers. Sophisticated email scams such as phishing and malware links are being pushed towards business email addresses in greater volume, as hackers use publicly available content to personalise emails and make them more convincing,” said Sergio Galindo, general manager of GFI Software.

“The public nature of business operations and the ease with which contact details can be harvested means that smaller organisations are a much more desirable target compared to scattergun mail bombing of consumers. Unfortunately, it also means business data and IT systems are at far greater risk and many organisations need to step up their efforts to combat rogue email to protect all parts of the organisation,” Galindo added.

Despite the problems, over 86 per cent of those surveyed still believe email is a blessing rather than a curse, despite the growing challenges of using email in the workplace.