Anti-spyware software vendor PestPatrol on Wednesday rolled out PestPatrol Corporate Edition 5.0, which offers a centrally managed defense against spyware to enterprises.
Spyware is software loaded surreptitiously on systems, typically by piggybacking on other popular programs, such as file-sharing tools. It can be used for relatively mundane tasks, such as tracking a user's online activity, or can be leveraged by hackers to capture keystrokes and copy personal data from hard drives.
It's a major problem, according to a survey of more than a million systems that Internet service provider EarthLink and anti-spyware vendor Webroot released in April. On average, each PC surveyed contained nearly 28 pieces of spyware.
Spyware has also caught the attention of the government, which sees it as the next dangerous Internet threat. The U.S. House of Representatives, for instance, held hearings on spyware in April, an anti-spyware bill has been introduced in the Senate, and proposed laws in California are moving through that state's legislature.
Most spyware tools have been aimed at consumers, including earlier software from PestPatrol, and lack the kind of control and management features enterprises need.