Spam on the increase in region

According to data released by three regional companies, the amount of spam e-mail received in the Middle East has increased by 100% in the four month between August and November.

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By  David Ingham Published  January 1, 2004

According to recent data released by three regional IT companies, the amount of spam or unsolicited commercial e-mail received by companies in the Middle East has increased by 100% in the four months between August and November. Borderware Technologies, Sun Microsystems and Tech Access have unveiled an anti-spam campaign as a response. “Until now, spam has not been as much of a problem in the Middle East as it has in Europe and the United States, because spammers didn’t see the Middle East as a target market,” says Dean Bell, regional director for Borderware, a provider of ‘anti-spam’ technology that runs on Sun server hardware. “However, in recent months, the level of spam has increased significantly, perhaps fueled by the rising population of people going online in the Middle East.” The companies say that spam costs businesses untold amounts in terms of wastage of bandwidth and thousands of hours in lost productivity and downtime. They have made a rough calculation of at least $1 lost every day for every employee connected to the internet and/or e-mail. Besides raising awareness of the business issues associated with unwanted e-mail, the campaign aims to help introduce companies to IT solutions that safeguard e-mail systems. The Tech Access Solution Centre in Dubai uses spam filtering technology that runs on Sun Microsystems computer hardware. Tech Data is an offical Sun ‘iForce’ partner. Spam is a problem worldwide, but may be on the increase in the Middle East because companies are less suspecting or, more to the point, are rather lax in their e-security and filtering. Regional companies have always tended to take a reactive approach to problems of e-security. Most spam results from companies flooding the internet with multiple copies of the same e-mail, usually a commercial advertisement, to force their message onto internet users. “The situation is only getting worse, as the wider dissemination of e-mail addresses creates a snowball effect, accelerating the spam problem. Part of the impetus behind our shared campaign is to help companies in the region understand how they can safeguard their e-mail systems from unwanted messaging,” says Martyn Molnar, solutions architect, Tech Access.

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