Spam is an annoyance that IT managers and users could do without, but it costs too, in terms of time, IT administration, and the technology to counter it.
The average company could be wasting more than $180,000 (£130,000) a year in lost productivity because of unsolicited email, according to security supplier McAfee.
The vendor's March 2009 Spam Report said the average annual productivity hit for companies with 1,000 employees works out to about $40,000 (£29,000) for every per cent of the total email volume that is spam.
The figure does not include the cost of storing and recording spam, the bandwidth it consumes, or any clean-up that might be needed on corporate networks and PCs if the spam contains malware or malicious links, advised the report.
In this video from Computing partner Netevents TV, we examine the challanges of defeating the spammers.