Enterprise-level anti-spyware software

* Webroot shines in sweeping up the spyware

Enterprise-level anti-spyware software

By Barry Nance

Like viruses and other harmful programs, spyware is a huge security problem. Worse than a typical virus, a spyware program can send corporate data directly from your company's client computers to an Internet-based data collection facility, such as a shady adware site or other group of bad guys.

The perfect anti-spyware tool detects all spyware, identifies all the files and registry entries associated with the spyware, and safely removes all its traces, remnants and residue. In a corporation, the ideal tool also offers a central console through which network administrators easily can disinfect client computers. The ideal tool is simple to install and deploy, and conveniently updates its own spyware signature list. Status displays and reports give you a quick and accurate picture of how badly spyware is harming your company. A good tool also will be able to detect and remove Trojans, dialers, malware and browser hijackers.

We recently invited several anti-spyware vendors to submit products to our Alabama lab. We tested Webroot Software's Spy Sweeper Enterprise Version 1.5, InterMute's SpySubtract Pro Version 2.5, Tech Assist's Omniquad AntiSpy Enterprise Edition Version 4.0 and PepiMK Software's SpyBot - Search & Destroy Version 1.3.

Webroot's Spy Sweeper Enterprise proved itself the best anti-spyware tool in our tests, winning a Clear Choice Award. It contained the most spyware definitions, gave us excellent control over its client agents from a central console, ran quickly and unobtrusively, had an intuitive user interface, and displayed useful reports of its activity.

Spy Sweeper Enterprise is said to thwart about 35,575 spyware programs; Omniquad AntiSpy Enterprise contains about 10,000 spyware definitions; and SpySubtract Pro has about 31,124. The freeware SpyBot Search & Destroy contained more than 10,000. Auditing each vendor's list with a sampling technique verified the authenticity and validity of each vendor's spyware definitions.

For the full results of the tests, see:


For questions or comments regarding this newsletter's content, contact Newsletter Editor Jeff Caruso at mailto:jcaruso@nww.com

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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