Spyware costing the UK £445m, says Webroot

Meanwhile, the spyware threat raised its head again last week, when a report by Webroot Software suggested it was costing the UK around £445m a year in lost time, productivity and in computer repairs. There are as many as 18 “spies” on an average machine, and only Thailand and the US have higher rates of infection.

Meanwhile, the spyware threat raised its head again last week, when a report by Webroot Software suggested it was costing the UK around £445m a year in lost time, productivity and in computer repairs. There are as many as 18 “spies” on an average machine, and only Thailand and the US have higher rates of infection.

The High-Tech Crime Unit, British Computer Society, and the EURIM e-crime sub-group are all behind clamping down on spyware, and held a meeting in London to discuss the threat it poses. But talk is cheap, and discussing how awful it is will not help. There has been plenty of talk about stopping bird flu arriving too, and trying to stop spyware without an effective, targeted education campaign is like trying to stop birds migrating.

Spyware will continue to threaten organisations and individuals because there is a degree of human engineering in its method, which preys on the gullibility and habits of PC users. Only when organisations and individuals are sufficiently aware of the threats, and educated as to how they should combat them, might the threat begin to diminish.

There is an argument that says the message on PC security has become tired and worn out, a bit like a TV ad you have seen over and over again. It is no real surprise, because the message on hacking and viruses is an old one. What is needed is a radical new approach, perhaps one to shock, which gets the message home on spyware, and the potential personal financial catastrophes it can cause if allowed to run unabated on machines.

We have had a series of pretty unconvincing messages so far on the threats posed by identity theft. The message on spyware must be much sharper, targeted, and innovative - and it must work.

Read more on IT risk management

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchCIO

SearchSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchDataCenter

SearchDataManagement

Close