Spyware and Greynets a Huge Problem for Enterprise
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Here’s a very interesting study having to do with spyware, grey nets, and the corporate infrastucture. A greynet is made up of unauthorized Internet applications on a network. Wikipedia, which says it far more eloquently than can I, explains that “a grey net is an elusive networked computer application that is downloaded and installed on end user systems without express permission from network administrators and often without awareness or cognition that it is deeply embedded in the organization’s network fabric.”

With that background, here is what FaceTime and NewDiligence have to say about a survey which they recently conducted looking specifically at the problem of spyware and grey nets in the enterprise arena:


Survey Shows Enterprise End Users Increasingly Adopting Unsanctioned Network Applications that Put Their Organizations at Risk

FOSTER CITY, Calif., Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ — FaceTime Communications and NewDiligence, a market research company, today released data that show enterprises spending on average $130,000 per month in IT time fighting spyware related issues. The data were collected in a survey of more than 1,000 end users and IT managers to determine the impact that the growth of unsanctioned applications have on enterprises. The survey specifically highlights the fact that reports of spyware are occurring at twice the rate of virus infections.

In addition to the IT costs associated with remedying infected machines, these incidents have led to thousands of dollars in productivity loss. Further exacerbating the issue, the survey also shows a growing end user adoption rate of unsanctioned network applications on enterprise PCs.

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FaceTime considers spyware part of a larger, fast-growing set of unsanctioned applications called “Greynets.” Greynet applications are downloaded and installed on end user systems, without express permission from, or awareness by IT (and often without even the end user’s awareness — as with spyware) and then use evasive techniques to traverse the network. Greynet applications include instant messaging, P2P file sharing, web conferencing, SKYPE, web mail and adware/spyware.

The Greynets Research Study found the following:

— In general, end users believe they have the right to install Greynet applications at the workplace. They also believe IT has any security issues associated with Greynets under control. 87% of the same end users reported a spyware or virus problem resulting in slow Internet response times, pop up ads and corrupted files.

 

— Among IT managers who have rolled out perimeter security solutions, consisting of gateway AV, URL filtering and IDS/IDP, 77% have had a spyware incident in the past 6 months, and 3 out of 4 IT managers stated that spyware incidents were occurring at the same or greater frequency compared to 6 months
ago.

— Within the next 6 months virtually all end users will have deployed some type of Greynet application and 8 out of 10 end users (78%) now use one or more Greynet applications; Based on stated intentions this number will rise to 93% in the next 6 months.

— 91% off all IT managers surveyed have a desktop anti-spyware product installed yet they are not overly confident in its ability to stop spyware. — 3 in 10 IT managers who experienced a virus incident, report that IM has been associated with such occurrences. A similar proportion report that IM has been associated with spyware.

“In today’s enterprise, we are seeing significant adoption of both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Greynet applications on employee PCs,” said Kailash Ambwani, President and CEO of FaceTime Communications. “Through our IMPact Center, we are observing a steady increase of worms, viruses and growing threats, such as spyware, within the enterprise, and are discovering from customers and through this research that current network and desktop security technologies are not effectively solving the spyware problem.

The Greynets Research Study, conducted over the last three months, was designed and fielded to 622 IT managers and 564 end users across small, medium and large businesses. This study was conducted to learn the corporate use of Greynets and the impact of spyware and virus incidents within an organization.

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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