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Issue of March 2005 

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Spyware biggest network threat in 2005

A recently conducted survey of the Top Network Security threats in 2005 reveals that two-thirds of IT managers and administrators believe that spyware will be the number one threat to network security. The survey, conducted by WatchGuard, shows results that point to executives underestimating the danger that this category of malware poses to businesses.

66 percent of those questioned said that spyware will pose a greater threat to their networks than viruses or phishing attacks. Almost the same percentage (65) said that between viruses, spyware and phishing, their network defences are weakest against spyware.

Despite this, when asked what the top security focus is for the executives within their organisations, only 38 percent said spyware is the top priority while 54 percent said executives remain concentrated on the threat of viruses.

Additionally, IT administrators were asked if their users are aware of spyware. Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) said more than half of their users don't know what spyware is.

Spyware is a growing category of malicious software that installs itself on a computer without the user's knowledge and can secretly gather information about the user activities or organisation. This category of threat ranges from adware to tracking agents to software that is designed to hijack a Web browser and divert it to a dangerous destination.

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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