Sunday, June 16, 2024

Report: Spyware a Critical Security Threat

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Spyware has become the fourth-greatest threat to a company’s enterprise

network security, according to a new analyst report.

International Data Corp. (IDC), a major industry analyst firm based in

Framingham, Mass., reports that 67 percent of all computers are infected

with some form of spyware. Consumer machines make up more of that

percentage than enterprise systems.

The deluge of spyware can damage legitimate software, slow network

performance and hinder employee productivity, according to IDC analysts.

”Today, more malicious spyware can easily infiltrate corporate

firewalls,” says Brian Burke, research manager for Security Products at

IDC. ”These programs make their way into the corporate Intranet under

the guise of less-threatening network traffic and, once in, they can

wreak havoc.”

Spyware, also known as adWare, malware and scumware, is an insidious,

digital infection that secretly gathers information about a person or a

company and relays it back to advertisers or hackers. Spyware can infect

a computer through a virus or through the installation of new software.

Spyware aids identity theft and data corruption, and tracks users’ online

activities without their knowledge.

According to IDC, the need to find and uninstall these pieces of

parasitic software is driving the anti-spyware market. The industry

analyst firm predicts that the market, which had $12 million revenues in

2003, will skyrocket to $305 million by 2008.

More information on spyware and adware removal and prevention is

available at Intranet

Journal’s Spyware Guide.

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