Spyware, Not Just Viruses Need to Be Blocked

Concentrating on viruses and not clicking on the wrong links in email, is important, but remember, spyware is also a problem, ensure you are protected.

A CompTIA press release reads – A single spyware infection on a work computer can impact the productivity of the typical small business employee for two-and-a-half days, according to research commissioned by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

A survey of employees at businesses with 10 to 200 computer users found that more than one in four computer users reported having their productivity impacted by a spyware infection during the past six months. Of these, more than one-third reported multiple spyware inflections.

Even more alarming, users of spyware-infected computers reported “living with” the problem for 18 work hours – more than two full workdays – before getting it repaired. They did so even though they realized that their work productivity was reduced due to the problems associated with spyware. Users estimated their productivity was reduced by 21 percent when the spyware problem was first noticed; and was reduced by 32 percent when the problem was at its peak.
On top of the delay in reporting a spyware infection is the time it takes to fix the problem. A survey of PC-support professionals servicing small businesses and who had fixed at least one spyware incident during the past year reported spending an average of 2.8 labor hours per infected PC. That’s more than 20 hours of reduced worker productivity for each spyware incident at a small business.
CompTIA commissioned Kotler Marketing Group of Washington, D.C, a consulting firm specializing in value-based selling, to conduct the survey to better understand the frequency and cost of problems such as spyware, viruses and network and server downtime among small businesses.
Two separate online surveys were conducted in late 2007. One questioned 537 end users who work in non-IT roles at small and mid-sized businesses in the financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and professional services industries. The other survey queried 200 IT professionals who support small and mid-sized businesses. Respondents were based in North America, with approximately 80 percent in the United States and 20 percent in Canada. For more information on the study, visit http://www.comptia.org/sections/research/.