Perhaps no problem plagues the Internet as deeply as that of unsolicited junk E-mail, or SPAM. While there's no doubt that SPAM can be annoying to the end users, SPAM can cause problems for both the network administrators and for those who own or manage a company. The reason for this is that SPAM robs your company of productivity and of system resources.
Any time that an E-mail message is sent to someone in your organization, the message must first pass through several stages of your organization's before reaching your computer. Regardless of how much bandwidth your organization may have, there is a finite amount of data that the Internet connection can handle in a given amount of time. This means that if your organization is using their Internet connection at or near its total capacity then any time you receive a junk E-mail message, other legitimate messages are kept waiting until bandwidth becomes available.
Not only does SPAM use up memory and resources on personal machines, servers, and firewalls, it takes up valuable time from employees. If it takes 5 seconds to delete a SPAM message and you receive 2 an hour, that's over 5 hours a year that are wasted per employee that is an utter waste - not to mention the frustration caused for that employee.
So the real question now is how do you deal with SPAM? Several countries have passed legislation making SPAM illegal, but the problem is not going away. Much of the SPAM is sent from hacked computers and countries with no such laws.
Microsoft has built mechanisms into Outlook that allow you to fight SPAM. The problem is that configuring Outlook to filter SPAM without using third party software is a lot of work. Additionally, Spammers are always using new spamming techniques, so the Outlook filters that work today may not work tomorrow.
Even if you could keep an Outlook level SPAM filter up to date, there's a huge administrative burden since each user's Outlook profile must be maintained independently. The only real solution is to block SPAM before it get's to personal computers. This can be done with firewalls and mail servers such as Microsoft Exchange.
Each method has its strengths and weaknesses. Let us know the problems your firm is experiencing and we'll find a solution that is the best fit.