by CIO Staff

Eight Ways to Prevent IT Viruses

Mar 15, 20042 mins

Cover all bases. Remember to update antivirus software on desktops and servers regularly. More than 500 viruses crop up monthly. Don’t forget remote users. And use different types of antivirus software. They don’t all catch everything.

Surf secure. Make sure employee Web browsers are at the right security level to prevent breaches.

Ship it out. Consider outsourcing the filtering of your corporate e-mail to catch spam and viruses before they get on your network.

Publish policies. Tell employees to never open e-mail attachments from people they don’t know. Some viruses spread by mailing themselves to contacts in an infected computer’s address book.

Get alerts. Subscribe to get the latest virus news and warnings on e-mail at sites like McAfee ( and Sophos (

Grade it. Rank applications and systems according to how critical they are to your business. When a virus hits, determine which systems are most important to protect. Rate patches so that all IT staffers are on the same page: A low rating means patch it when you have a minute; high means do it now.

Assign a staff member to take charge when a bad virus hits. This person leads conference calls and meetings, and coordinates the response and clean-up.

Back Up! Create group pages among IT staff to use as a backup if a virus takes the company e-mail down.

Sources: Microsoft, IBM, McAfee, Sophos, PricewaterhouseCoopers, CIO reporting