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How To Protect Your Network's PCs

Enterprise PCs, once nestled behind perimeter security devices, are the new security frontier for 2005. Roving laptops may return to the corporate mother ship with malware that propagates itself throughout the soft chewy inside of the enterprise network. Even stationary desktops can fall victim to rogue programs that exploit OS and application vulnerabilities or are downloaded by end users.

While desktop anti-virus software has become the de facto security standard on enterprise PCs, it's clear that anti-virus alone can't protect these assets. For instance, spyware programs that track user surfing habits often aren't covered in anti-virus signature libraries and usually get passed over during search-and-destroy scans. And when it comes to zero-day attacks, all signature-based solutions are helpless until malware researchers can identify and distribute patterns to detect the new exploits.

Vendors have responded with a bumper crop of software security agents to help you lock down your desktops. The result is a bewildering number of options for beleaguered security professionals to choose from.

At the top of the list is anti-spyware technology, which aims to detect and remove keystroke loggers and Trojans, as well as the annoying adware programs that violate privacy and affect PC performance.

2005 may also be the year that Host-based Intrusion Prevention Systems (HIPSs) lay claim to a significant chunk of real estate on enterprise desktops. This security category has gained the attention of enterprise security pros for its ability to stop zero-day attacks that traditional anti-virus products can't catch right away.

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