Ashville NC IT Support Company | Blue Ridge Technology, Inc.

The Hidden (and Not So Hidden) Costs of Spam Email

Your business is losing hundreds of hours to spam every year
Email spam in business contexts is still alive and well. It may not be as visible of a problem as it was a decade or 15 years ago, but spam email is still alive and well. Your business is dealing with costs associated with email spam. Some of these costs may already be on yoru radar, but others could be hiding out of sight. So what are the hidden (and not so hidden) costs of spam email, and what can you do about it beyond what you’ve already done? We’re glad you asked! Here are some threats you might not know about — and mitigation strategies that can help you shore up your spam defenses.

Cost #1: Wasted Time and Lost Productivity

The first cost to consider is just how much time your team is wasting working through pointless email. Yes, your spam filter is catching quite a bit of the spam heading to inboxes, but it doesn’t catch everything. And, depending on your settings and how well your team trusts the filter, people may still have to venture into that spam folder to make sure nothing legit got snagged. (You don’t want people missing crucial client emails because they ended up in the wrong place!) A new report indicated that across all business roles, team members could each be wasting up to 80 hours per year sorting through and dealing with spam emails! Another thing where employees waste a lot of time is scanning on the printer, luckily for us, Microsoft 365 implements OneDrive’s Built-in Mobile Scanner, for you just take your phone out of your pocket and scan the documents you need. Employees that receive an average of 30 emails a day (a pretty low number if you ask us) spend an average of 5 hours per year dealing with spam. That might not sound like a ton of time, but think about the productivity hit beyond just the time lost. Every time an employee gets pulled back to their email inbox for a fraudulent email, they lose focus and productivity on whatever they were working on. Across your entire team, the time and lost productivity add up.

Cost #2: Lost Focus and Productivity Among Leadership

Even worse is the cost to the people in positions of leadership at your company. Managers, leaders, and executives typically receive a much higher volume of mail. That same report showed that people receiving around 100 emails daily wasted as much as 80 hours — that’s two full work weeks — every year. Think about that for a minute: the people most crucial to the success of your business are burning the equivalent of two weeks out of the office, every year, just categorizing and deciding which messages are spam versus legit external emails. That translates to a whole lot of lost focus and lost productivity — among your highest performers and most crucial personnel.

Cost #3: Email-Based Business Threats

The third cost is one we’ve talked about plenty on this blog: the reason for a whole lot of business email spam. It’s worse than consumer-grade spam, because it’s usually targeting your business assets through phishing attacks, business email compromise, and other threats. The goal is to gain access to your systems and network so the attackers can do whatever damage they like.

What Can You Do About Spam?

So, what can you do about email spam (and the costs associated with it)? Education is one strategy. The better your teammates understand how to identify illegitimate emails, the less you have to worry about cost #3 — and the less time they’ll spend making these decisions (costs #1 and #2). The second thing you can do is take a look at your current email spam filtering solution. It might be too lax, too aggressive, or just not powerful enough compared to newer solutions on the market. Both of these — training your team and evaluating your current spam filter — are things we can help with. If your spam efforts could use a boost, reach out to our team today.