Throughout 2005, one of the key subjects has been spyware. Worryingly, by December this year the UK will have maintained its position as the country with the third-highest rate of computers infected with spyware. Although the woes of this growing threat will no doubt continue into 2006, hopefully that will be the year in which vendors can come up with some real solutions.
As the threat posed by spyware continues to grow, it is hoped that 2006 will bring some relief.
During 2006, spyware is expected to really begin making its way towards the top of the agenda for the harassed IT manager. We all need to get to know a lot more about the spyware threat; apparently, if proper precautions are taken, 99.9% of spyware attacks can be foiled – but 99.9% of computer users probably do not have the full facilities available that would allow them to take the required precautions!
The use of multiple products is advocated to achieve anything like a reasonable level of protection against spyware. This is not really practical for users, and it is probably also more expensive than it needs to be for organizations.
Hopefully, the prevalence of spyware by the end of 2005 will bring home the message that spyware is a real threat that needs to be addressed. If this message is understood and acted upon, it is plausible that 2006 could bring some serious and practicable solutions from the vendors in the marketplace.
In addition, it looks like support in the fight against spyware is growing in the wider community. For example, in October, the US Federal Trace Commission (FTC) demonstrated its recognition of the threat posed by spyware, telling a US senate committee that spyware and other malware can not only slow down a computer’s performance but also result in the loss of sensitive data.
At the time, FTC chairman Deborah Platt Majoras also said that the Commission has an active program to address concerns about spyware and other malware, including research, law enforcement, and consumer education.
Meanwhile, the UK government has recently launched its ‘Get Safe Online’ campaign, which aims to raise public awareness of IT security issues such as spyware and provide solutions for consumers.
This looks like a step in the right direction, at least.
Source: OpinionWire by Butler Group (www.butlergroup.com)