This is according to IDC's white paper titled What you can do and should do about the rising cost of spam. The paper details how spam works, the relative cost of spam, the impact of spam and how to assess solutions and outlines tactics to help businesses fight spam.
According to IDC, e-mail users in organisations without anti-spam solutions lose an average 10 minutes each day due to spam.
"Calculating the loss of time for recipients of spam and those administering the e-mail system can be difficult," according to Lindsay Durbin, Clearswift senior security architect.
IDC created a calculator for Clearswift designed to help organisations determine the cost of spam. It is aimed at mid-to-upper level IT Managers to help them better understand and fight spam.
"The ROI calculator takes into account all the variables associated with spam to give organisations a realistic picture of the costs associated with spam and spam management," Durbin said.
When calculating the cost of spam, IDC also accounts for the time spent reviewing e-mails to identify which are spam and tracking down valid e-mails that may have been deleted by users or IT by mistake. It also takes into consideration only a portion of the time lost that could have been used more productively.
In the US, nearly 70 percent of organisations had implemented an anti-spam solution in 2003 and 20 percent more expect to have one in place in 2004.
"Given that spammers are increasingly sophisticated in their techniques, it is critical that organisations look at all the facets of assessing and selecting a robust anti-spam solution. The paper helps IT managers make decisions on how to manage the spam problem," said Durbin.