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Symantec, McAfee Launch Enterprise Anti-Spyware Tools At RSA

Symantec and McAfee leveraged the RSA Conference Monday to launch enterprise-wide battles against spyware. Both major security vendors touted new enterprise anti-spyware solutions.

As recently as a year ago, attention to spyware was low on the enterprise totem pole, said David Friedlander, a senior analyst with Forrester. Not so now. In 2005, he predicted, 65 percent of U.S. companies will purchase or upgrade anti-spyware software, making the category the most-purchased security technology for the year.

"There's a tremendous opportunity in anti-spyware," said Friedlander. "Spyware ranks fourth out of a list of nine possible threats to the organization." And while the vast majority of firms claim to have anti-spyware software in play -- 80 percent by the results of Friedlander's research -- many of them are using free, limited-use tools such as Ad-Aware and Spybot.

"Most companies that have deployed anti-spyware software haven't deployed it throughout the enterprise," said Friedlander. "Instead, they've put the software primarily on laptops that leave the network, or on a desktop when they realize that system has a [spyware] problem."

That leaves a lot of room for big-time, big-name security suppliers like Symantec and McAfee, and down the road, Microsoft, too, said Friedlander. "The one thing customers have said they're most interested in having is a single anti-virus/anti-spyware scanning engine."

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