Article

Spyware Survey: Where's this coming from?

SearchSecurity.com Staff

Here's how some sections of the SearchSecurity spyware survey unfolded. More will follow in parts two and three of our series.

Who took the survey?
--Local, state and federal government employees made up 20.4%
--Financial services, IT-related manufacturers and service providers and other non-IT producers and service providers each comprised a little more than 11% of respondents.
--Next was education, with 9.2%, followed closely by consultants represented 8.6%.
--Health care, excluding pharmaceutical companies, brought in 6.2% of answers.
--Energy, utility and telecommunications employees comprised 4.6%, while retail rounded out the list with a 2% representation.
--About 15% worked in other industries.

Small to medium-sized businesses made up a bulk of those surveyed.
--Just over 42% worked for organizations with less than 250 employees.
--Another 22% represented companies with more than 5,000 workers.
--There also were 20.4% employed by businesses with up to 999 workers.
--Some 15.5% worked for enterprises with 1,000 to 5,000 employees.

When asked to define spyware:
--74.4% said it included every program downloaded without a user's knowledge, including cookies and adware.
--22% said it referred on to more malicious programs downloaded without a user's knowledge.

When it came to spyware's biggest impact on the organization:
--71.7% cited productivity drain from a sluggish system

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and desktops crashing.
--6.9% chose regulatory compliance issues.
--Almost 5% pointed to the theft of user's identities.
--Another 4.3% said homepage hijacking had a huge impact, while stolen corporate information came in with 3.3% of votes.
--Another 9% outlined miscellaneous individual impacts.

Almost a fifth of those surveyed were unsure what percentage of help desk calls are spyware-related. Among the others:
--44.1% said less than 10% of calls involved spyware troubleshooting.
--24.3% said such calls consumed up to 24% of their IT staff time.
--4.3% said the problem represented between 50% and 75% of help desk calls.
--Only one person said more than 75% of calls involved spyware.

From a priority standpoint:
--38.2% said it was one of their three top priorities
--35.5% said it was important, but not a top priority
--10.9% said it was somewhat important
--5.6% said it was a top priority, while the same percentage said they weren't sure where spyware stood.
--4.3% said it was no important

Looking ahead:
--58.2% expect spyware to be a bigger threat to their enterprise
--32.9% predict it'll remain the same as today
--8.9% forsee spyware as a smaller threat within their company


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