Enterprise-class anti-spyware systems are an emerging and rapidly evolving product class. Solutions fall into three main categories at this time: dedicated anti-spyware systems, defenses integrated into anti-virus applications and gateway defenses for HTTP and other protocols. eWEEK Labs has put together a series of questions to help administrators begin developing an RFP (request for proposal) and gauge the severity and source of spyware infections throughout the enterprise.
- The nebulous term "spyware" can mean a lot of different things, some of which may already be addressed by existing in-house solutions. IT staffers will need a solid understanding of the problems that need to be solved, whether they are primarily concerned with spywares potentially debilitating effect on security, system and network performance, and/or worker satisfaction. Spyware categories include adware, system monitors, Trojans, tracking cookies, dialers and joke programs.
- Analyze how big a problem spyware truly is in your organization. • Is it pervasive or limited mainly to a few users? Will spyware defenses be best implemented by limiting administrative rights for troublesome users?
- Gauge the importance of integrated solutions for your business. • Is best-of-breed anti-spyware defense of paramount concern, or are ongoing deployment, management and system performance issues—and their impact on IT time—most important?
- Is the rate of spyware infection similar on desktops and mobile computers? Do Web- logging or syslogging software programs indicate whether infections are generated in the main office or when machines travel remotely?
- How much control do administrators need to quash the spyware threat? Will different policy controls for various categories suffice, or do you need drill-down control for individual exceptions?
- What client machines need anti-spyware defense? • Windows XP, Windows 2000 or other? • Are older operating systems supported?
- Will anti-spyware policy controls conform to directory structure? How do anti-spyware solutions interact with directories to establish defense groups?
- What deployment techniques are supported? • Push from the management console, individual executables, group-policy deployment? • Does the solution scale to enterprise use? • Are multiple servers manageable from one location? • Can administrators deploy signature and policy repositories in multiple locations? • Does the system support differential access for different administrators?
- What is the anti-spyware vendors process for dealing with companies that wish to have their software removed from spyware classification? Will this software ultimately be removed from signature databases altogether, or will the administrator at the customer site have the final word?
- When the anti-spyware agent is installed, what is the expected system CPU and memory hit? • During scans? • During normal operation?
- Does the administrator have any control over how system resources are affected?
Source: eWEEK Labs
For more of eWEEK Labs Sample RFPs, go to go.eweek.com/labsrfp.