Having an e-mail system that isn't properly protected is like going
outside on a cold winter's day in shorts and a T-shirt. You're just
asking to wind up with a nasty virus that makes your network vulnerable
to an equally nasty infection.Taking some basic precautions, however,
will make sure your e-mail won't need a visit from the IT doctor. There
are different levels of protection you can use to keep yourself safe
from e-mail viruses.First start on the individual machines themselves.
Each should have some kind of anti-virus scan that screens e-mails as
they come in. This scanning application would inspect each e-mail and
make them virus-free or at least send you an alert if something
suspicious has been identified.
The next step out would be on
the actual server itself.On your e-mail server, have all e-mail
attachments scanned.This won' necessarily be a scan of the entire
server, just all the e-mail traffic. The scan would be on the lookout
for any kind of virus activity, malware, or anything else that might
pose a threat.
Then there's one final step out that would
block anything suspicious before it even gets to your e-mail server.
This can be accomplished using something like Barracuda's spam firewall
or Cisco IronPort e-mail security appliances. What these do is actually
scan the e-mail and reject anything potentially hazardous at the point
of first entry.
It's a best practice for any company,
regardless of size, to have all three of these levels of protection in
place in order to keep its e-mail system virus-free. Not having this
kind of safety precautions in place can result in some unpleasant
scenarios. For example:
Keyboard Logger: Someone can put in a
keyboard logger which they can then use to watch your activity on your
computer. With this secret access, they would be able to know a lot of
about what you are doing, including what your most security sensitive
passwords are. What's worse, the logger could be running in the
background, leaving you in the dark that somebody was able to monitor
your every keystroke.
Malicious Spambot: You could have you computer actually
completely taken over and used for malicious purposes. Someone could
seize control and use it as a spambot or some other kind of bot that
does something bad to other users.
Hardrive Corruption: A fairly common scenario
involves the corruption of your hard drive, preventing you from being
able to boot up. What's worse, if the virus replicates and spreads to
other computers in the network, it can result in an entire network
All of these scenarios come with a high
cost in time and money to remedy but all could be avoided with some
really easy precautions.; It's much cheaper to protect yourself before
the problem happens that deal with it after it does, especially when
there are inexpensive and even free options available. Avast and AVG,
for example, offer free solutions for PC protection, which can be very
helpful for a small business with a tight budget, and LEAP itself
can provide server scanning and server protection applications to help
keep your e-mail free of infection.So take the steps to keep your
e-mail system properly "bundled up" and make sure your network can stay
safe, sound, and healthy.