Anti-spyware tools absent from many Canadian enterprise networks

As enterprise-level anti-spyware tools become available to protect businesses from potentially unwanted programs, many Canadian firms have yet to integrate these mechanisms into their information security infrastructure.

According to Jack Sebbag, Canadian vice-president and general manager for McAfee Inc., based in Pointe-Claire, Que., more than 60 per cent of McAfee’s enterprise clients have yet to install anti-spyware programs on their network.

Sebbag stressed, however, that these companies are already aware of the spyware problem in the enterprise.

Yet despite increased awareness among businesses of the need to protect against potentially hazardous spyware, there is certainly less haste when it comes to actually acting on that realization, he said.

And it’s not because businesses are undermining the importance of anti-spyware in their organization.

The McAfee executive explained whenever a company invests on a new project, it normally goes through a process of identifying the issue, determining the budget and testing the new program across the entire organization.

“That’s why it takes a long time for enterprises to implement anti-spyware,” said Sebbag. He added the whole process usually takes three to six months.

McAfee this week unveiled anti-spyware software for business customers to block and eliminate adware, dialers, keyloggers, cookies and remote-control programs, such as bots.

McAfee AntiSpyware Enterprise can be managed via the same console used to manage McAfee’s anti-virus products, the ePolicy Orchestrator for larger companies, or the Protection Pilot for small offices. McAfee also announced its managed online anti-virus scanning service has added spyware detection and will be offered under a new name, McAfee Managed VirusScan plus AntiSpyware.

The McAfee AntiSpyware Enterprise software and the online antivirus service use the same spyware-detection signatures, said McAfee marketing manager Lillian Wu.

She said McAfee is charging 35 per cent more for the additional spyware detection that’s now part of the online anti-virus service, making the total cost US$ 36 per user per year. However, the additional anti-spyware functionality will be provided without additional cost to existing VirusScan customers until their VirusScan contract expires and is set for renewal.

The only competitor offering the same type of combined anti-virus and anti-spyware scanning service is Panda Software. Many security software vendors, such as Computer Associates and Symantec, offer anti-spyware products.

– With files from Ellen Messmer of Network World (US)

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