Spyware can kill your business quicker than spam or viruses . Spam eats bandwidth and productivity (as you spend time deleting in-basket items). Viruses delete files, throw egotistical messages on your screen and use your address book as a springboard for perpetuating themselves across the network.
But spyware insidiously logs your keystrokes, rifles through your files for password and credit card data, peppers your screen with ads and slows your PCs to a crawl.
To find which anti-spyware product is best for your corporate network, we invited about 30 vendors to submit products to our lab for testing. We received 18 products from 16 vendors (see box), and we also looked at the beta version of Microsoft's Windows AntiSpyware tool.
The McAfee appliance stopped an impressive 90% of the spyware in our tests. The appliance, a hefty 1U rack-mounted Dell PowerEdge 1850 pre-loaded with Windows, anti-spyware filtering software and browser-accessible administration tools, is one of McAfee's Secure Content Management Appliance 4.0 products. Secure Web Gateway gave us URL filtering, Internet Content Adaptation Protocol support and an easy-to-navigate user interface. It also can send SNMP alerts (for example, to HP OpenView or other frameworks). Installation was as simple as connecting the box to a router and switch, powering it up and assigning an IP address.
Blue Coat's Spyware Interceptor thwarted 82% of our incoming spyware.
Aladdin's eSafe turned aside 88% of the spyware in our tests.
Trend Micro's OfficeScan Anti-Spyware Suite and InterScan Anti-Spyware Suite foiled 86% of spyware in our tests.