[Dshield] Email Security Poll Results
Jon R. Kibler
Jon.Kibler at aset.com
Sun Mar 7 20:02:10 GMT 2004
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 R. Kibler
Chief Technical Officer
Charleston, SC USA
Please respond YES (Y), NO (N), or Not Applicable (N/A):
Does your organization perform any screening of email attachments? 72% YES
Does your organization perform A-V checks on all email attachments? 85% YES
Does your organization perform any checks on email attachment file type? 62% YES
Does your organization allow users to receive executable content attachments? 49% YES
Does your organization allow users to receive zip file or similar compressed attachments? 90% YES
Does your organization allow users to receive MS Office and similar type files that may contain macro viruses? 95% YES
Does your organization allow users to receive embedded or attached HTML email? 99% YES
Does your organization allow users to receive active content attachments, such as HTML with <SCRIPT> tags? 80% YES
Please respond as appropriate:
What AV engine do you use to screen email attachments (Symantec, NAI, FProtect, Trend, ClamAV, etc)?
How often does your organization update its AV signatures?
every 2 hrs or more often 16%
every 4 hrs 8%
every 8 hrs 8%
every 12 hrs 5%
only as announced 5%
other, plus as announced 16%
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