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BizReport : Email Marketing : November 19, 2010


Symantec's MessageLabs looks ahead to 2011

2010 saw a few interesting anomalies as far as online security. A large botnet was taken down, spam and click fraud numbers seemed to moderate themselves, and there were not headline-grabbing security glitches. Still, 2010 wasn't a banner year and 2011 may hold a few hiccups. MessageLabs Paul Wood tells us what he expects to see in 2011.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: "What two things really stand out about 2010?"

Paul Wood, Senior Analyst, Symantec Hosted Services: "Especially this year, there isn't a theme that really stands out, but there was a lot of bad stuff that was going on. One in 221 messages contained malware and 1 in 5,000 of those messages were targeted attacks. Also, people are working longer hours, working from home, and we have to manage that access in a way that the security of business is still maintained.

Kristina: "Looking ahead to 2011, what do businesses need to do to protect themselves from these kinds of attacks?"

Paul: "Businesses need to have firm policies about acceptable online usage, but also they technology protecting businesses need to be better because people are going to visit sites that aren't always the safest. Cloud computing, I think, will grow [in 2011] because the security in the cloud can be higher than typical computer-based security."

Kristina: "What does the take-down of the BredoLab bot mean for the future?"

Paul: "When [BredoLab] was taken down, we saw a brief dent in the amount of spam, but those levels are back up now. We think that bot was run by a large number of people and they are still working. We've actually seen no let-up in the overall spam volume; the 4% dip we saw in September isn't a big effect in the grand scheme of things."

Kristina: "This year there were many attempted malware or spam attacks geared around headline news - the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup. Do you expect that trend to continue?"

Paul: "Yes. Spammers can collect [news information] from content aggregators to make their messages look legitimate. They can detect themes and trends and then create messages that look legitimate to users."

Kristina: "What are you looking out for in 2011?"

Paul: "One trend we expect to see is that English won't be the default language for spam. We're seeing more spam in local languages right now. For example, in Brazil more than 40% of spam is in Portuguese. It's simple for [fraudsters] to pass an English-based message through translation software based on domain codes such as .uk or .fr. I think we will also see a shift in where spam is coming from; we saw more spam originating from Asian and Eastern European countries in 2010 as those economies grow and broadband penetrates. That will continue."






Tags: 2010 forecast, 2011 forecast, email marketing, malware, MessageLabs, spam, Symantec Hosted Services








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