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Spam and Fraud Activity Trends

Spam and Fraud Activity Trends | Analysis of Spam Activity Trends | Analysis of Spam Activity by Geography, Industry Sector and Company Size | Analysis of Spam Delivered by Botnets | Spam Botnet Analysis – A Strategic Viewpoint | Significant Spam Tactics | Spam by Language | Spam by Category | Future Spam Trends: BGP Hijacking | Phishing Activity Trends | Analysis of Phishing Activity by Geography, Industry Sector and Company Size

Analysis of Spam Activity by Geography, Industry Sector and Company Size

Background

Spam activity trends can also reveal patterns that may be associated with particular geographical locations, or hotspots. This may be a consequence of social and political changes in the region, such as increased broadband penetration and increased competition in the marketplace that can drive down prices, increasing adoption rates. Of course there may also be other factors at work, based on the local economic conditions that may present different risk factors. Similarly, the industry sector may also have an influence on an organization’s risk factor, where certain industries may be exposed to different levels of threat, by the nature of their business.
Moreover, the size of an organization can also play a part in determining their exposure to risk. Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may find themselves the target of a spam attack because SMBs are perceived to be a softer target as they are less likely to have the same levels of security countermeasures as larger organizations are more likely to have greater budgetary expenditure applied to their anti-spam and security countermeasures.

Methodology

Analysis of spam activity based on geography, industry and size is determined from the patterns of spam activity for Symantec.cloud clients for threats during 2011.

Data

Figure C.3. Proportion of email traffic identified as spam - by industry sector, 2011. Source: Symantec.cloud
Figure C.4. Proportion of email traffic identified as spam - by organization size, 2011. Source: Symantec.cloud
Figure C.5. Proportion of email traffic identified as spam - by geographic location, 2011. Source: Symantec.cloud

Commentary

  • The spam rate has decreased across all top-ten geographies in 2011. The highest rate for spam is for organizations in Saudi Arabia, with an overall average spam rate of 80.9%. In 2010, the highest rate was in Italy, with an overall average spam rate of 93.5%.
  • The spam rate has decreased across all top-ten industry sectors in 2011. Organizations in the automotive sector were subjected to the highest spam rate of 77.9% in 2011; in 2010, the engineering sector had the highest spam rate of 93.5%.
  • The spam rate has decreased for all sizes of organization in 2011. 75.2% of emails sent to large enterprises with more than 2,500 employees in 2011 were identified as spam, compared with 90.1% in 2010.
  • 74.6% of emails sent to small to medium-sized businesses with up to 250 employees in 2011 were identified as spam, compared with 89.7% in 2010.