Dissecting Spam by the Numbers


: email , spam , security

By blog Nov 20 2019


Although email is still indispensable for businesses as a means of communication, there are always problems with spam emails. They not only interfere with efficient operations, but also pose serious security risks due to viruses or phishing attacks. To better understand, let’s take a look at the actual status of spam mail.
Approximately 40% of emails received in Japan are spam
In looking at the numbers, the overwhelming amount of spam email is the first thing that stands out. According to statistics from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, approximately 750,000,000 spam emails are received in Japan every day (as of March 2019) - about 44% of all emails! In recent years, this ratio of spam emails to all emails has consistently been between just below 40% and around 50%, with no major improvement observed.
In looking at the countries and regions that are the sources of spam emails received in Japan, the top five as of March 2019 are Japan (35.85%), the United States (9.02%), Brazil (6.52%), Hong Kong (5.63%), and Russia (5.62%). It is obvious that Japanese users and companies are targeted by attackers from around the world.
Rapidly increasing threat of Business Email Compromise (BEC)
Spam email contents are usually related to dating services, information products, and finance. Recently, a type of email fraud called business email compromise (BEC) has been rapidly increasing. BEC is an email scam that attempts to gather data or gain access to financial accounts by pretending to be from a company executive or a trusted customer. Total BEC losses in the United States in 2018 reached around $1.2 billion. The number of BEC attacks in 2014 was about 200, but in 2018, it exceeded 20,000 (based on FBI data).
Japan is also experiencing an increase in targeted email attacks that attempt to obtain information. According to statistics from the National Police Agency, there were 1,723 targeted email attacks in 2014, and that number has rapidly increased to 6,740 in 2018*.
What is the key to preventing spam?
The key to keeping your company safe from spam email is “block before receiving.” It is common to use an email software’s filtering function as a countermeasure against spam emails. However, it is not perfect. This filtering function is based on receiving all emails and then sorting out the spam, which can tie up valuable server capacity and bandwidth. There is also a concern that viruses and malicious software attached to spam emails may enter your network.
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As Tsukaeru MailBuster is cloud based, no initial investment is required, and it is easy to implement and start for as little as $15 per month. With our continuously improving accuracy and response to new malware and other threats based our own self-learning smart technology, you don’t have to worry about troublesome updates. If you have trouble with spam email, please check out our excellent MailBuster service.
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*Reference and data source: 2019 White Paper on Spam Email - Spam Countermeasure Promotion Council (PDF)

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