Solitaire's author told Sophos that his game makes office workers
Sophos has announced that the application control feature built
into its anti-virus software has been extended to give businesses
the ability to control and block Windows computer games, including
Solitaire, Minesweeper and FreeCell - some of the most popular
games in the world.
According to Sophos, the negative impact on company productivity
caused by the games has meant that many organizations have shown
significant interest in wanting to control their installation and
use on company computers.
Sophos poll survey of more than 450 system administrators
reflected the security and efficiency concerns surrounding the use
of computer games. 90.4% of respondents wanted the ability to block
games, with 62% indicating this was essential.
Recognition of the drain on productivity has even been
acknowledged by some of the games' creators.
"When I wrote Solitaire for Microsoft, I unleashed a monster of
unproductivity onto the world," Wes Cherry, author of Microsoft
Windows Solitaire told Sophos. "I bet there are millions of bosses
out there who hate me. If I had a penny for every hour that has
been wasted playing Solitaire in the office, I could hire Bill
Gates as my golf caddie."
Sophos's application control
feature has proven extremely popular with system administrators
since its launch in September 2006, and receives regular updates in
order to meet concerns resulting from uncontrolled enterprise use
of applications. Slotting in seamlessly with Sophos Anti-Virus and
requiring no roll-out of new software, application control gives
businesses the power to selectively block games, VoIP, peer-to-peer
(P2P), Instant Messaging (IM) and distributed computing
applications. It is available free-of-charge to all Sophos
Anti-Virus 6.0 users.
"Microsoft says that 'Windows comes with a small set of games
that you can play whenever you're in the mood for a bit of fun,'
and this is fine - except when employees are doing it at their
company's expense," said Carole Theriault, senior
security consultant at Sophos. "These games have been available on
most installations of Windows for years, and I would bet more hours
have been spent playing them in the office than any other game in
The ability to block Windows games bolsters Sophos's previous
application control update that allows system administrators to
popular commercial games from 15 major games publishers,
including Eidos Interactive, SEGA and Electronic Arts.
The following games which ship with Microsoft Windows can now be
blocked by Sophos's endpoint security products:
MS Windows games:
MSN Gaming Zone:
Sophos's application control capabilities integrate seamlessly
into Sophos Endpoint
Security providing users with a universal desktop client that
addresses a diverse range of security and productivity challenges.
Sophos's solution gives system administrators the power to
selectively allow or block usage of applications by individuals or
groups. As a result, they can implement flexible policies that
reflect the diverse needs of groups across the enterprise.
Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.