To help ISPs reduce the cost of dealing with customers whose computers become infected with malware, Simplicita unveiled software that automatically detects and quarantines infected computers.
According to Frank Bergen, CEO of Simplicita, 180,000 computers are infected with malware daily, and ISPs are addressing only a small number of them.
“The customer help desks of the large service providers are really only touching 1 to 2 percent of complaints,” Bergen said.
The new offering, called ZBX, isolates hijacked computers that violate an ISPs acceptable use policies.
It automatically identifies infected machines by analyzing data collected by the ISPs in anti-spam logs, router logs, firewall logs and other reports, said Rob Fleischman, Simplicita CTO.
The software then quarantines the infected computers in a “safe zone,” where the user has the opportunity to fix the problem without infecting other computers on the network.
The safe zone allows carriers to decide how much time to give customers to address the problem.
“Were not onerous in the safe zone,” Bergen said. “We let them know theyve been placed here for their own good.”
ISPs can offer users three options when malware is detected.
Users can deploy anti-virus software, call for help in removing it, or upgrade to a new computer.
Alternatively, an ISP can simply alert users to the problem and give them three chances to take remedial action before disconnecting them from the network.
For some enterprises, malware is seen as a growing nuisance that causes lost productivity. Albert Prast, CIO of Rotech Healthcare in Orlando, Fla.
“I wouldnt say its the biggest problem that keeps us up at night, but its an annoyance,” Prast said.
Rotech, which provides in-home medical equipment and services, has several hundred sales people who use laptops out in the field.
When employees log on to the Internet via public Wi-Fi systems, they can expose themselves to malware.
“If theyre in a Starbucks, for example, their connection to most places on the Internet is unprotected,” Prast said.
“Would they ever know they had a problem on their PC without someone telling them? Probably not.”
Because so many employees work in remote locations, it is not always possible for Prast and his team to ensure that they keep their anti-virus software up-to-date.
“We find that many, many times they dont do it, and that causes some of the problems,” he said.
“Were anticipating more people working from home and Wi-Fi becoming more widespread. Their egress to the Internet is going to be more on the local level. What we want to do is make sure that what they do on the Internet doesnt affect the Intranet.”