Definition: Spyware is designed to be installed on the target computer (unknown to the user) and to report upon the activities and data entries made at a workstation. This software can be installed and activated by end users. The purpose of the program is to record or accumulate data and, at some point, to send the information back to the intruder. One motivation would be to steal proprietary data or to track business activities. It can also be used to gather information for additional attacks. The infrastructure owners, typically, are unaware that spyware is watching them or the malware that has been installed on their hardware.
Its Relevance: Organizations must install and routinely use Internet software security suites. The matter must be addressed in the company’s official information security policies. Individuals who are responsible for the use of the protective software must be held accountable. Valuable information can, otherwise, be stolen without the knowledge of the owners.