Virus Protection Risk Assessment: Knowledge Is Half The Battle

United Messaging Offers Enterprise Executives A Virus Risk Test To Evaluate Systems Security

WEST CHESTER, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 22, 2001–The recent Code Red and Sircam viruses should serve as another wake up call to CIOs. Security issues affect virtually every business–99.67% of companies will have at least one virus encounter (source ICSA.Net).

According to industry reports, 88% of U.S. companies suffered a security breach in 2000. Those enterprises that remain unprotected or uneducated will learn a hard lesson about safety for critical business information housed on their networks or carried by their messaging systems.

Viruses come in all shapes and sizes and from many sources. E-mail, the World Wide Web and even shared disks can all carry a virus that can cripple a company’s network system and bring business to a screeching halt, resulting in substantial financial losses, disclosure of confidential information, property damage, and the like.

E-mail and the Internet are indispensable business tools. But what many companies fail to realize is that as more and more employees use the Web and e-mail, the risk that their business will suffer from a virus attack grows exponentially.

In February 2001, it was reported that 1 in every 400 e-mails contained a virus. It’s simple probability – the more e-mails sent and Web pages viewed, the more chances for a virus to infiltrate a system.

But despite the increased notoriety of hostile viruses, many businesses still leave themselves defenseless to the actual catastrophes that could result from being dependent on technology.

“If it does not fully address security issues, Corporate America runs the risk of compromising its very foundation,” said Ben Trowbridge, CEO of United Messaging. “Statistics say that virtually every business will be attacked at some point. We expect virus threats will continue to grow and become more sophisticated, especially if predictions about state sponsored hacks were to become fact. If state sponsored attacks become real, it could be devastating for commerce and our economy. At the very least, enterprises need to assess their vulnerability and put the tools in place to protect their physical and intellectual assets.”

Is your system vulnerable to hostile viruses? Do you know that 87% of viruses are spread by e-mail? Awareness is the single most important factor in assessing the security of your network. What you don’t know heightens your risk. To assess how your enterprise is handling the virus risk, take the United Messaging “Risk Assessment Test.”

1. Do you have a virus monitoring and protection service running

24/7? 2. Do you have a back-up system if your e-mail were to shut down? 3. Do you prevent or restrict non-employees from having access to,

and/or addresses on, your corporate e-mail system? 4. Do you restrict employees’ ability to receive and send selected

files beyond your internal firewall? 5. Does your company have a records management policy, and does that

policy extend to e-mail? 6. Do you issue virus warnings and educate employees about proper

e-mail use? 7. Are you monitoring your employees’ e-mail usage? 8. Does your company have escalation procedures for handling virus

emergencies? 9. Does your company have a publicly stated or displayed policy

regarding non-business or inappropriate use of e-mail? 10. Does your company filter content and monitor inbound and outbound

transmissions to selected URLs?

If you answered “No” to one or more of these questions, the security of your system is in jeopardy. Reassess your current infrastructure defense measures. You may be at risk of a system failure, security breach or even a legal battle over employee rights. Any one of which could lead to significant operational and financial consequences for your business.

Safeguarding Recommendations

Executives looking to safeguard their enterprises should implement a multi-layered defense and ensure that it is updated regularly and monitored 24×7. They should also consistently backup files and store them offline.

Enterprises should never cut corners when it comes to security. Too often virus protection becomes a second tier activity as IT departments devote scarce resources on multiple important core business initiatives.

Technology has led to many advantages in the world of modern business, but with increased dependence comes potentially devastating hostile attacks to enterprise systems. Companies must increasingly protect their infrastructure and critical information or suffer severe consequences.

About United Messaging

United Messaging provides secure enterprise messaging solutions via hosted messaging and professional services, handling over 1,000,000 e-mails each business day. The company serves enterprises with collaborative, business-critical Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, and iPlanet-based messaging applications.

Its unique combination of managed and professional services increase messaging performance, reliability, scalability, and security while reducing operational expense.

The company is headquartered in West Chester, PA with facilities across the U.S. and in Europe. For more information, contact United Messaging at, or (888) 993-5088. United Messaging is a registered trademark of United Messaging, Inc.

All other trademarks mentioned herein are either trademarks and /or registered trademarks of their respective owners in the United States and/or other countries.

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