Spamtastic

You all know what spam is, right? of course you do. You’re on internet and it’s ubiquitous.

Spam arrives in all out inboxes all day, every day and unfortunately it’s a constant pain to deal with. Luckily, most of our ISP’s are deploying excellent capture tools which cut out a lot of the noise, for our personal email accounts at least. Certainly my Hotmail and Virgin email accounts get very little in the way of proper spam.

Where spam is a little more annoying is when it encroaches into our professional lives.  However, there are lots of enterprise levels tools for organisations to cut out most of the unwanted stuff. We have some very good tools deployed at my organisation (for reasons we’ll go into shortly) so the regular spam (Viagra, hair recovery, money management), tends to get caught. We don’t even offer users the option to receive that shit, if it’s talking about willies, wigs or wonga, it’s dumped out of hand. Likewise, if it’s get a virus onboard, a  malicious URL or any kind of dodgy looking attachment, that sucker is history.

Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of traffic that is very hard for automated tools to identify. Lets talk about that.

Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Jon. I’m in charge of information security at a large organisation. One of my jobs is stopping unwanted unwanted emails coming into the business. Sadly this is a very fast moving and dynamic field so a lot of traffic is difficult to identify and block (for a computer). I’ve got access to the logs and can see that inbound marketing bumpf is a major problem. 95% of the million or so emails my company gets every week, are spam. Useless. Unwanted.

950,000 emails, every week, that no-one wants. This is happening to every company, world-wide.

 

What does all that noise look like to a professional? Well lets see. I tuned all my manually introduced filters so I was getting raw spam that only related to my role. I then removed any emails that could be explained because I’ve done business with the companies in the past. I removed any emails that could be explained by the few places that I’ve voluntarily given my email address to. After that, how many emails do you think I received last week?

303.

Three hundred and three emails that have been sent to me in an attempt to win my business at some level or other. Every week. Do one.

I’ve got no budget. I haven’t got the time or the inclination to go to VIP events. I know what the Internet of Things means, thanks. I haven’t got to my position by not understanding threats and risks, by the way. And no, I don’t want to buy any trend-leading shelfware.  All in all, none of these 303 emails are remotely interesting to me. I’ll even add that this stuff is turning me off to the companies who send it to me.

Big organisations working in the security field, the people you employ to target me are making me not want to use you. Stop sending me this shit. Stop sending it to all of us.

 

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