The volume and sophistication of email-based threats continues to grow at an unchecked pace. Most organizations observe that as much as 90 percent of their incoming mail is invalid (spam, viruses, etc.), with the total number of incoming messages increasing every year – even as the number of employees stays constant. These email security threats are fueled by a powerful profit motive associated with spam, fraud, and information theft. This creates resources that bring professional engineers into the business of developing new threats, further exacerbating the situation. As this cycle does not appear to have a natural equilibrium, threats are expected to continue to grow in volume and sophistication for the foreseeable future.
There are no “silver bullets” to eliminate the flaws found in email. The ultimate answer will likely emerge as a mixture of many complementary solutions. The sustained viability of email demands a convergence of market-driven research and technological development.