Network Computing examined seven enterprise-class anti-spyware suites. Its Editor's Choice won for its interface design, removal abilities and ease of deployment. The second-place entry, with its Web-based administration, is no slouch either.
Note that the products tested are standalone anti-spyware apps, with the exception of McAfee's VirusScan Enterprise and F-Secure's Anti-Virus Client Security, which are parts of the vendors' antivirus-plus-anti-spyware suites.
Spyware is a general term used to describe unwanted, obtrusive and potentially dangerous software installed on a workstation, mostly to enrich the creator. Most vendors toss adware, BHOs (browser-helper objects), distributed attack tools, keystroke loggers, P2P software, tracking cookies and unauthorized remote administration tools into the general spyware bin. Of these, keystroke loggers, distributed attack tools and unauthorized remote administration tools are the most dangerous because they let attackers cull information as users go about their business. Keystroke loggers and remote administration tools are particularly effective at capturing business users' Web mail entries, VPN and other log-in credentials, corporate credit-card numbers, administration account information and other sensitive employee and/or customer information. Distributed attack tools can turn your company's computers into spam-sending relay stations or involve them in distributed DoS attacks.
Adware, P2P software, BHOs and tracking cookies generally are more annoying than dangerous, causing pop-ups and slow browser interaction with Web sites as they track where employees travel on the Internet. Still, they reduce productivity, and P2P software, if used by employees to download music illegally, could put your organization in the crosshairs of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
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