Spyware infecting Aust businesses: survey

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The majority of respondents in a recent survey believed that their organisations had been infected with spyware.

The Websense Web@Work survey found that 92 percent of IT managers believed that their organisations had been infected with spyware.

Conducted by market research firm Harris Interactive, the survey also found that one-third of employees either didn't believe, or were unsure, that their computers could be infected with spyware.

Graham Connolly, territory manager for Australia and New Zealand at Websense, told iTnews that spyware was "just everywhere".

Connolly suggested IT departments put in place a comprehensive solution to manage the websites their users were visiting, find a way to filter what applications were being installed and if spyware was sending information back out over the internet to find ways to block that communication.

Connolly doesn't see the spyware issue going away any time soon either. "It will just continue to proliferate like spam," he said.

Websense's survey also found that IT managers reported that an average of 29 percent of their corporate PCs had been infected with spyware, yet only six percent of employees said they had visited sites which contained spyware while they were at work.

Websense, a software vendor, defined spyware as "a rogue technology that can secretly collect web surfing patterns, keystrokes and password information to send back to a host website, with or without the user's knowledge".

The survey looks at internet and application use in the workplace, according to a statement issued by the company. This is the fifth annual Web@Work survey that the company has carried out.

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