CA, Others Attack SpywareBy Michael Myser | Posted 2004-11-08 Email Print
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Computer Associates is the latest security vendor to extend its anti-spyware offerings to the enterprise, where businesses are seeing increasing breaches on employees' desktops.
Recognizing the growing need for anti-spyware solutions in the enterprise, Computer Associates International Inc. on Monday announced new software designed to tackle unwanted spyware, adware and trojans.
CA's new eTrust PestPatrol Anti-Spyware r5 allows system administrators to scan the enterprise for traces of spyware, identify it, and remotely clean it wherever it may reside, without affecting users, said Sam Curry, vice president of eTrust security management for CA.
"Once we've cleaned the system and have a fresh start, you can effectively immunize the system," Curry said. Unlike consumer products, which sit on individual PCs and operate similar to a personal firewall, CA says the system's active mode stops spyware before it ever reaches the desktop.
CA, which purchased PestPatrol in August, is the latest security vendor to expand the availability of anti-spyware solutions to the enterprise, where corporations are seeing increasing breaches on employees' desktops.
"Eighty to 90 percent of computers have some form of spyware on them," said Rich Mogull, research director for analyst firm Gartner Inc. of Stamford, Conn. Consumers are no longer the only victims of spyware, which can be used to track online behavior, distribute unwanted pop-up ads, promulgate viruses and even obtain personal information from the infected computer.
In a July report titled "Preventing and Removing Spyware," Gartner analysts predicted that unified client software that included spyware detection in addition to personal firewall, anti-virus and behavior-based protection, would appear by the end of 2005.
Enterprises can also turn to security products that stave off spyware at the Web or e-mail gateway. Vendors Blue Coat Systems Inc., Cyberguard Corp. and Websense Inc. offer solutions that target spyware before it reaches or infects the network.
Blue Coat says its latest proxy appliance stops spyware through URL blocking, HTTP traffic monitoring, and the ability to stop unrequested installs. Blue Coat and Websense can block communication when spyware programs running on the desktop try to connect with sources outside the enterprise.
Also on Monday, Websense launched new "keylogging" filtering functionality for Websense Enterprise, which blocks employee access to sites that specifically contain keylogging applications. These spyware applications record keystrokes and can potentially send that information on to outside organizations and cyber-criminals.
Aluria Software, Sunbelt Software Inc., and Giant Company Software all say they will have enterprise-capable anti-spyware available by early next year as well.
Despite the seeming advancements in many aspects of the anti-spyware market, analysts and vendors admit there isn't a complete solution yet available for the enterprise. Each piece can effectively handle just parts of the spyware onslaught.
"Spyware has [so] many flavors that one technique cannot be effective," said Chris King, product marketing manager for Blue Coat and a former security analyst with Meta Group. "You need a gateway approach for the Web, and you probably need a desktop piece too."
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