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Firms give anti-spam solutions thumbs down

Most businesses have given a resounding thumbs down to the technologies used to keep spam out of their mail in boxes, a new survey has revealed.
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Written by Tom Espiner on

Most businesses have given a resounding thumbs down to the technologies used to keep spam out of their mail in boxes, a new survey has revealed.

The survey, entitled The Spam Index Report, found that most customers were not fully satisfied with the service they received from anti-spam vendors.

Over 500 businesses were polled by IT consultants Brockmann & Company, with 40 percent of the respondents having IT responsibilities.

Respondents found anti-spam services provided by ISPs to be the least effective of all solutions. Spam filters were found to be the next most ineffectual method of killing spam. Only 21 percent of respondents were "very satisfied" with their user-trained PC e-mail client spam filters. Open-source and proprietary email client filters were almost equally ineffectual, according to the survey.

Spam-filtering appliances were found to be slightly more effective than software filters, but the level of customer dissatisfaction remained similar for e-mail client and appliance spam filters, at 78 and 73 percent dissatisfied respectively.

Real-time black listing, a reputation-based system that collects feedback from users to manage a black list of known spammer IP addresses and domains, was also found to be dissatisfying for businesses, with only 24 percent saying they were "very satisfied".

Hosted spam filters fared slightly better -- but only marginally. Fifty-eight percent of respondents still said they were not "very satisfied" with the service they received from hosted e-mail-filtering providers.

The survey found that challenge-response anti-spam technology garnered the most business satisfaction, with 67 percent of businesses proclaiming themselves "very satisfied" with it. Challenge-response involves first-time e-mail senders being challenged with a reply e-mail, requesting that the sender reply to that message, to assure the original e-mail is delivered. According to the survey this is an effective anti-spam measure, as spammers seldom respond to the challenge e-mail.

Tom Espiner reported for ZDNet UK from London

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