Email Security Poll Results

Hello all,

We had 39 responses to the poll. The results follow the signature paragraph.

A few words of explanation about the results.
  1) For the Yes-No questions, most answers were either YES or NO. However,
     a few of the results were something like "yes, but not encrypted zips."
     For the "yes-but" answers, I counted them as a "half of a yes."

  2) For the AV engines, the percentages add up to >100% because many users
     said they ran multiple AV engines.

  3) For frequency of AV signature updates, several responded something like
     "update daily or as new updates become available." For answers that said
     they updated on a regular frequency plus more often when necessary, the
     frequency was counted as appropriate, plus it was also counted in the
     "other, plus as announced" category.

A few observations and comments:
  1) Subscribers to the DShield and NANOG mailing lists contributed answers.
     This means the answers are biased (originating from the "security aware"
     group of users) and probably do not reflect the general state of email

  2) It was refreshing to find that everyone claimed to be updating their AV
     signatures on a regular basis. It would be interesting to know how many
     average users and small businesses update on such a regular basis.

  3) Personally, I found it very surprising how many organizations depended
     solely upon their end users to perform AV screening, that none was
     being performed organization-wide. I was also surprised at how many
     organizations permit executable content to be sent by email.

I hope that everyone finds these results interesting and they are put to good use!

Jon Kibler

Based on Jon's results, it is reasonable to conclude that most corporate
network operators provide some level of email security. Any given
corporation can establish top-down policies mandating the use of an email
security product. Said corporation only needs to manage compliance with the

However, in the context of the commercial email operation there is a
delicate balance between email security and sales prevention.

My question is, at what point does email security become too onerous for the
ISP customer? Is it reasonable to completely ban attachments?

Thank you for your time.

Christopher J. Wolff, VP CIO
Broadband Laboratories, Inc.

<Is it reasonable to completely ban attachments?>

I'm inclined to think not. Its like opening a flood gate and trying to close
it. Simply put, even dropping passworded Zip files for me has churned
a large degree of debate/resistance from my management and users.
My arguing that SMTP is not FTP, hasn't won me any leverage based
in part from the countering "We used to be able to do this".
Of course theres always the argument "Censorship" too, which leads
me to believe, their lemmings and I'm just going to have to find another
way to fix a problem that has no signs of going away.

But, just my 2�s