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Awareness - The Best Tool for Fighting Scareware

According to Pieter Kok, Senior Analyst of Software and IT Services at IDC MEA, awareness is the most appropriate tool to combat fake security software, also called "scareware." Itweb.co.za published this on June 8, 2010.

Says the analyst, organization workers know about the modern online threats, but not about advanced cyber-crimes. They are also aware of their company data's worth as well as potential risks facing the same in case of virus infection on their systems. Indeed, it's always worrisome for them that their business data may get revealed to cyber-criminals when they visit various websites.

Kok adds that workers become anxious when alerts appear on their PC screens stating their systems have malware.

In such instances, they traditionally comply with the instructions that are displayed through pop-up windows or messages from fake AV sites for resolving the problem. Kok notes that employees do so because they think the pop-ups are generated from a trusted entity such as their ISP or their company itself.

He further underscores that scareware sites have been keeping themselves up-to-date with what different security companies assumed about them in the beginning of 2010. The companies had predicted that the business of scareware would escalate during 2010.

And truly enough, scareware is flourishing, according to researcher Roel Schouwenberg at Kaspersky Lab, the household PC security company. Upi.com published this on June 7, 2010.

Furthermore, McAfee, the anti-virus software company, lately noted that there had been a tenfold increase in the total pop-up advertisements for bogus anti-virus applications in last two years.

Besides, Innovative Marketing, a Ukrainian firm, was recently closed down when US authorities found it amassing over US$100 Million through the sale of 'scareware' products posing as anti-virus products from genuine IT security vendor, Symantec.

Moreover, since access to debit/credit cards isn't that difficult, scareware business feels little challenged as it is likely that there will be no reaction, states Andrew Brandt from AV firm Webroot. Upi.com reported this on June 7, 2010.

Thus, Kok suggests that enterprises must ensure that employees know about the security software brand being used in their organization and that no third-party anti-malware program is installed on company-owned systems. Itweb.co.za reported this on June 8, 2010.

Related article: Awareness of Web Threats is Increasing in Corporate

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