Spam costly for SMBs

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Spam costly for SMBs

Vulnerable SMBs are losing money and time as spam attacks shift towards them and away from better protected enterprises, attendees to a Government run seminar for National E-Security and Awareness Week claimed yesterday.

At the event, hosted by security vendor MessageLabs, SMBs from multiple industries admitted that controlling unsolicited emails has become a time consuming and costly task that could jeopardize business.

“SMBs can’t afford to have specialists in every field,” commented Mario Robles, Financial Administrator for Poole’s Rock Wines. “How much is it costing when your CEO, on a $200k salary, is spending 15-20 minutes a day pressing ‘delete'?”

Robles added that when he had to multi-task and fix an infected computer that generates orders, money could easily be lost. “SMBs might not be able to recover from a disaster,” he said. “One computer down could cost thousands of dollars.”

According to hotel manager Grant Raubenheimer the Observatory Hotel in Sydney had 1200 spam emails sent daily, which meant staff are unable to charge, check-in nor check-out guests in a timely manner if the network is comprised.

“The difference is we don’t have the resources as the big organisations,” he pointed out. “We need to have something we can put in place and let it operate.”

On the other hand, SMBs also fear contaminating a client’s network by sending unprotected emails. Anthony Collins IT services manager of Smartsalary, an Australian salary packaging company, said $1.6M worth of payments are made out to 60, 000 clients via email a year, they have to be delivered safely and securely.

According to MessageLabs, criminals are making the move away from enterprises towards SMBs because enterprises have the funds and resources to protect themselves from such attacks.

James Scollay Vice President of MessageLabs Asia Pacific said, “What we see is that enterprises have more disaster recovery capabilities. MessageLabs has to update software 10-15 times a day to keep up with daily outbreaks. It’s an arm’s race.”

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