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The State of E-Mail (In)Security

The New E-mail Battleground

Simple arrogance (or denial) leads many to believe that they have the e-mail problem completely covered, and that e-mail virus outbreaks and that attacks are issues that only other companies face. The prevailing feeling at many of these organizations is, "So far we have been lucky to not be the first one hit by a virus, and as long as we keep our anti-virus signatures updated, we'll be just fine."

The irony is that, while the e-mail security challenges companies face today have evolved from a decade ago, or even a year ago, the e-mail security technology entrusted to protect businesses and consumers has failed to keep pace with the changing threat landscape. Legal and regulatory mandates, as well as business survival, now give organizations pause to re-evaluate their approach to e-mail security in the face of three new e-mail attacks.

Fast-moving attacks exploit the window of vulnerability that exists between the time a new virus breaks out, its signature can be developed, and deployment of the signature to security products.

In order for antivirus software companies to develop new virus signatures, they must first contain and analyze potential threats. After antivirus companies validate a new virus or worm, researchers must create a new signature that must be added to the existing database of known viruses in order to trap the new virus the next time it hits.

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