Do you have a problem with spyware? As you know, spyware is that problematic type of software that gathers information or tracks system usage and reports that data to outside sources without the user's knowledge. Obviously, this sort of software can be a threat to your enterprise security. Spyware can be installed on systems through a variety of methods, including malicious ActiveX controls, Web-based scripts, file-download mechanisms, assorted email content, and software installation that appears legitimate.

Desktop- and gateway-based firewalls as well as content filtering systems can help detect and block spyware. For example, some desktop firewall solutions prevent unauthorized applications from communicating on the network. But they don't necessarily prevent spyware from becoming installed, nor do they stop it from collecting data.

Dozens of standalone desktop solutions identify and remove spyware. But managing standalone desktop software across an enterprise isn't exactly a simple chore, so these solutions aren't exactly ideal for businesses. If spyware is a problem on your network, you might consider using an enterprise antispyware solution--and by "enterprise," I mean a solution that offers its own centralized management system. Many people aren't aware that numerous enterprise antispyware solutions are either already available or will soon be released. At the URLs below, you'll find long lists of spyware packages, both standalone and enterprise.

https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/ehowes/www/soft6.htm

http://spyware.pagina.nl/

Below you'll find a quick rundown of the products I know about, listed in no particular order. If I've missed any products that you're aware of, please send me an email message with a brief product description (or at least a URL to a Web page) and I'll update the list.

-- Finjan Vital Security: appliance-based solution that also provides antivirus functionality, URL filtering, Instant Messaging (IM) logging, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), watermarking, mail content filtering, and junk mail filtering.

http://www.finjan.com/products/default.asp

-- PestPatrol Corporate Edition: software-based solution that also provides protection against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, keystroke loggers, Trojan horses, and more.

http://www3.ca.com/Solutions/Product.asp?ID=5222

-- WebSense Enterprise: software-based solution that protects against spyware, keystroke loggers, phishing attempts, malicious mobile code, and more

http://www.websense.com/products/about/Enterprise/

-- MicroWorld Technologies' eScan Enterprise Edition: software-based solution that also provides antivirus, junk mail filtering, pop-up filtering, NetBIOS firewall, and more.

http://www.mwti.net/antivirus/escan/escanent.asp

-- Webroot Spy Sweeper Enterprise: software-based solution designed specifically to guard against spyware.

http://www.webroot.com/products/spysweeper/enterprise/

-- Tenebril's SpyCatcher Enterprise: software-based solution designed specifically to guard against spyware.

http://www.tenebril.com/products/ghostsurf/spycatcher-enterprise.html

-- InterMute's SpySubtract Enterprise Edition: software-based solution designed specifically to guard against spyware.

http://www.intermute.com/spysubtract/

-- Xblock Systems' X-Cleaner Enterprise Edition: antispyware solution that also protects against Trojan horses, keystroke loggers, and more.

http://www.xblocksystems.com/products.php

-- Omniquad AntiSpy Enterprise Edition: antispyware solution that also protects against keystroke loggers and more.

http://www.omniquad.com/antispyenterprise.htm

-- Norman Ad-Aware Professional Edition: antispyware solution, plus protection against data mining, aggressive advertising, selected traditional Trojan horses, dialers, malware, and tracking components.

http://www.norman.com/Product/Home_Home_office/AntiSpyware/17211/en

-- DynaComm i:scan: passive scanner that removes spyware, P2P software, file surveillence and more

http://www.dciseries.com/products/iscan/default.asp

-- Prevx Enterprise: protects against spyware, plus protection against viruses, malicious code, malware, and more

http://www.prevx.com/prevxenterprise.asp

-- Kaspersky Anti-Virus SuperSecure Database: add-on databases that protect against spyware and also provide protection against malicious code, auto-dialers, backdoors, and much more.

http://www.kaspersky.com/extraavupdates?chapter=146235724

-- GFI DownloadSecurity for ISA Server: integrates with Kaspersky's Anti-Virus and SuperSecure database to help quarantine spyware, and also provides protection again other types of downloadable content.

http://www.gfi.com/dsec/

-- McAfee Anti-Spyware Enterprise Edition Module: software-based add-on to the company's antivirus solution that also protects against Trojan horses, keystroke loggers, and more.

http://www.networkassociates.com/us/products/mcafee/smb/antivirus/vs_spyware_smb.htm

-- Sunbelt Software's CounterSpy Enterprise

http://sunbeltsoftware.com/product.cfm?id=400

-- Aluria Spyware Eliminator (not yet available, as of Feb 15 2005)

http://www.aluriasoftware.com

-- GIANT AntiSpyware for Enterprises (purchased by Microsoft, product is now in beta testing as "Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware")

http://giantcompany.com

http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/default.mspx

-- CyberGuard Webwasher: content filtering system that provides protection against viruses, malicious code, spyware, and much more.

http://www.webwasher.com/enterprise/products/webwasher_products/index.html?lang=de_EN

-- SonicWALL: Firewall, VPN, and content filtering appliances that can also provide anti-virus protection, intrusion detection and prevention, anti-spyware protection, and more.

http://www.sonicwall.com/General/DisplayDetails.asp?id=272

In 2005, Windows IT Pro plans an article that will review some of these solutions. So if you're interested in a comparison of these products, be on the lookout for the article.