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Spyware - programs that monitor a computer user's activities and capture data about the user, storing the information so a third party can access it s a relatively new phenomenon. Spyware countermeasures are just now maturing beyond their initial capabilities, with many choices available to enterprises and individual users. As this field matures, threats and responses are becoming more sophisticated. One major concern has been the time lag between how quickly threats have evolved compared to how quickly counter-measures become available to deal with the threats. Spyware has evolved rapidly because of the profit motivation that spurs it forward. The good news is that countermeasures will grow dramatically in the near future, also because of a strong - and only recently recognized - profit potential. This will help the response catch up to the threat, but only if IT professionals understand how spyware works.