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Spyware Survey: Where's this coming from?

How does your company measure up? A look at the statistics in's online survey exploring the current and predicted threat impact of spyware.

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 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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