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Security specialist says at least 25% of email is non business-related and
offers "no win, no fee" audit to prove it
5 NOVEMBER 2001 - British companies are wasting a quarter of the money they
spend on email because at least 25% of all messages sent by staff have
nothing to do with business.
This abuse costs hundreds of millions of pounds in lost productivity and
overloaded networks, according to security specialist FailSafe Computing,
which has launched a "no win, no fee" auditing service aimed at any
organisation with 200 or more employees.
FailSafe, part of the Mettoni Group, is offering to send in a CLAS security
consultant to carry out a detailed audit of traffic for a week. If the audit
fails to show clearly that 25% or more of traffic is non business-related,
the client gets the results free of charge.
FailSafe has identified four areas of cost associated with email abuse:
* Productivity: half an hour of personal email a day equates to a more than
6% of the salary bill for white-collar workers
* Bandwidth: company networks are already struggling to keep up with volumes
of legitimate email traffic. Networks are under further pressure from file
attachments, which can be hundreds or thousands of times the size of the
* Storage: email now accounts for a significant proportion of most
companies' data storage requirements. Unnecessary storage means unnecessary
* Liability: the risk posed by confidential, pornographic, profane or
libellous messages and email-borne viruses
FailSafe's Jocelyn Honeybunn said Email Audit Program (EAP) was not a tool
for spying on employees, but a way to implement an effective email policy
or, if a policy already exists, to check that it works.
"Most companies are not interested in snooping on their staff. They accept
that a certain amount of email will not be strictly business-related, just
as a proportion of phone calls has nothing to do with work. Different
companies will take different views about how big a grey area they allow
between business and personal communication, but everyone needs to be
concerned about the extreme cases where security is compromised, where a PR
disaster is in the making or where costs are running out of control."
EAP involves attaching a black box to the network for a week. The data is
then analysed according to criteria agreed in advance with the client, and
finally the client is sent a report containing the results and
recommendations about how to improve email policy.
FailSafe stresses that while the main purpose is to weed out non-productive
mail, the audit also produces other valuable data about network traffic,
including the number and type of attachments on the network and volumes of
The service starts at around £9,000 and FailSafe is confident it won't end
up giving it away.
"The organisations we have talked to are adamant they can win the bet. But
in most cases it turns out that non-productive email amounts to nearer 50%
of the total," Jocelyn Honeybunn said.
- ends -
NOTES FOR EDITORS
FailSafe Computing specialise in virtual private networks and other network
security areas such as security audits, penetration testing, security
policy, content security and anit-virus. FailSafe offer consultancy, design,
implementation and also a managed service for a total solution. FailSafe
also supply Internet connectivity, firewalls, smartcards, certificates and
hardware tokens for remote user authentication.
About Mettoni Group
Mettoni Group Plc is an international IT services company, specialising in
the design, deployment, monitoring and security of communication networks.
An already broad portfolio of products and skills is being rapidly expanded
as part of an acquisition-led growth strategy. Mettoni companies provide
products and services ranging from cabling and network infrastructure to
call centre and operator systems. Mettoni Group companies active in the UK
and Europe include:
- STS: network infrastructure design, call centres, contact centres, voice
over IP (VoIP)
- Datapulse: operator systems and services, CTI, system integration
- Failsafe Computing: virtual private networks (VPN) and network security
The group's mission is simply to deliver the greatest possible value to its
customers, employees and investors.
Now it's personal: dangerous and unproductive email costs business millions,
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