Viruses, getting off Windows
New danger from web pages. We only used to have to worry about
email, but new (mostly java based) attacks can come from simple
Your main defense (assuming you are a Windows user) is to keep
up with Microsoft Updates. Unfortunately, that can cause its own
share of difficulty. I did this recently at a small office: four of
the five machines took Windows Updates successfully, but the fifth
would not reboot. It took about an hour of work to get that machine
back up and running. Regardless of that risk, these updates need to
be done, and you need to check back for new updates very
One thing to be aware of if you haven't done these updates for a
while: the default result is to turn off the ability to save
attachments in Outlook Express. While that is good security, you
may need to be able to save attachments. It's easy enough to turn
back on (Tools->Options->Security) if you do need it.
Another defense is to control where users can browse. The
Kerio Firewall server that
I sell can prevent access to unauthorized sites both by category
(sex, sports, gambling) and individual domains. It's completely
flexible: if you have certain users who can't be restricted or need
different restrictions, that is easily done.
MOVING FROM WINDOWS
I have had a number of contacts recently from people asking me
how they can "get away from Windows". The problems they cite are
the poor record for Microsoft in the area of security and viruses
and (probably more importantly) the increasing expense of Microsoft
For most companies, you really cannot avoid Microsoft 100%. If
you are fortunate enough to run Unix based server software, you
probably still are dependent upon Windows programs like Microsoft
Word or Powerpoint. Expensive as they are, many of you just cannot
operate without them.
However, the situation isn't totally bleak. You don't have to be
completely "held hostage" (I've heard that phrase often recently).
Hostage for more on that.
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