Spyware Costs Weigh Heavy On IT

Rampant occurrences of unsanctioned apps in the enterprise are nibbling away at IT resources, to the tune of an average of $130K a month, a survey of IT managers reveals.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

August 2, 2005

1 Min Read

A survey of more than 1,000 IT managers and end users reveals that spyware and other unsanctioned downloads are resulting in average monthly costs of $130,000 to IT enterprises. The survey also found that spyware incursions appear to be growing at a rate twice that of computer virus incidents.

Greynets, applications that are downloaded and installed on end user PCs without IT sanction, are increasingly represented by instant messaging. "Within the next six months, virtually all end users will have deployed some type of greynet application," the report states. "Based on stated intentions, this number will rise to 93 percent in the next six months."

The survey was conducted by market research firm NewDiligence with participation by FaceTime Communications, an IT security provider.

Noting that in addition to instant messaging, greynet applications can include P2P file sharing, Web conferencing, Web mail, adware/spyware, and VoIP applications such as Skype, the study found that even among IT managers who have installed perimeter security measures, 77 percent of them had a spyware incident in the past six months. Most of the IT managers said spyware incidents are occurring at the same or greater frequency as six months ago.

The survey found also that end users generally believe they have the right to install greynet applications and that they believe IT management has greynet incursions under control.

"We are seeing significant adoption of both 'good' and 'bad' greynet applications on employee PCs," said Kailash Ambwani, president and CEO of FaceTime, in a statement. "We are observing a steady increase of worms, viruses, and growing threats, such as spyware, within the enterprise."

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