What has been your experience or the experience of your clients during the recent virus and worm attacks?

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Most of our clients did OK with worms, but there were a number that we have to go on site and fix the issues. If these clients had done their Windows updates on a regular basis, they would have been OK. We cannot stress enough the importance of keeping the virus programs up to date and reviewing the Windows Update each week to see if the updates are needed for operations or protection.
Steve Palmerio
MSP Consulting Group
Ewing, N.J.

The results have been somewhat diverse. Our firm was fortunate to have all of the latest updates, and thus we were able to avoid any significant issues, but continue to receive “polluted” emails fairly frequently. We have had a number of clients that were taken down by the virus and had some interruption to their processing. In each case, they thought that all of the virus protection was current, but in fact it was not.
Chris Gryskiewicz
Templeton & Company
West Palm Beach, Fla.

We had a number of customers that were greatly affected by the recent viruses. Some had to reformat hard drives; most had to hire outside technicians to resolve their issues. We heard of two large companies locally that were down for a couple of days on two different occasions this past month. The customers that fared best were those with hardware firewalls, with no incidences to date with any viruses. We count ourselves among that group. I have been amazed by the number of viruses I have been alerted about from customers who were concerned they had passed them on in communication with us, but we have not had a virus since installing our hub with firewall (Soho Watchguard).
Amy K. Wilson
Plus Services.
Saint Paul, Minn.

Partner Insights

We were fine because of our firewall. The clients most affected were those that had not properly maintained their Windows updates, firewalls, or anti-virus software. In several instances, these same companies have updated their procedures and are taking all of this much more seriously now that it has cost them in downtime and money.
Jay Rubin
DFC Enterprises
Laguna Beach, Calif.

We’ve survived the attacks OK, but are approaching the 75 percent to 90 percent spam level on our emails. We are facing having to change some of our business email addresses because of the spam. Not only is the spam volume a major pain, but some of our email addresses have been “highjacked” for use by someone apparently in the Middle East who is attempting to attack or spam other systems using our addresses as return addresses. It’s becoming a major headache.
Dave Studebaker
Liberty Grove Software
Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Isis and all of our clients who implemented our recommended suite of virus protection software incurred no network violations by the email worms. All worms were stopped in their tracks. As for all of our clients who did not implement our recommendations, they are a different story. We use the Trend Micro products in the NeatSuite collection
Shelby McCurnin,
Isis
Richmond, Va,

It seems the light came on for many about the need to keep virus definitions current, use good virus software, backup regularly, and make sure data is accessible (stored) offsite. Our tech support was out helping our clients in a flurry of activity. There was not as much misinformation floating about this time, which helped us get to the root of things quickly and get back on track after a couple of hours. We drafted new protocols for many on security, backup, and regularly changing passwords.
Carolyn Sechler
Carolyn Sechler CPA
Phoenix, Ariz.

My clients generally fared very well—they generally have very tight policies on keeping their systems patched, and have good anti-virus protection at several levels. So it has been uneventful lately. Of course, most of them have had prior bad (expensive) experience, so they had learned this lesson.
Dan Means
SRS Consulting
Mission Viejo, Calif.

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