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Virus recovery dos and don'ts

A network administrator used his recent experience with the Nimda virus to give some tips on protecting and recovering networks from threats.

IT managers don't like to encounter problems they can't solve right away. "It's an ego hit," according to Rob Burton, a network support specialist. Unfortunately, not every virus attack or network slowdown can be solved in 10 minutes. Burton, who works for Washington, DC-based Levick Strategic Communications, recently ridded Levick's network from the Nimda virus, and it took him two whole days. He used that experience to give searchWindowsManageability some dos and don'ts on protecting and recovering your network from threats.

Do "have the wherewithal to shut down your network," he said. Tell your company that work will not be possible until the situation is resolved.

Don't think you can adequately react to an issue as it comes along. In today's current environment, said Burton, that's a foolish attitude to have.

Do have a plan. "Be prepared for any eventuality in advance." Write down a checklist to follow which contains everything you'll need to do. Then you'll know each step will get the necessary attention.

Do keep infected servers disconnected from other servers to keep viruses from spreading, he said.

Do react based on what's important to you, Burton said. For example, if your file server stores vital information necessary to keep business running, that's your priority.

Do have current virus software and ensure that all your systems are protected by it. Read every e-mail that says anything about a virus. Further, keep users informed about which e-mails are safe to open and which aren't.

Do make sure to have the best back up solution possible. Check that it backs up every night. Some back up solutions are better than others, said Burton. With tape back up, for example, it's very possible to reinfect yourself with a virus. You could clean your whole system, but bring back a virus via infected backed up files when they're re-opened. Burton's other concern with using tape back up is in the event of a physical disaster. "If the tapes are damaged or destroyed, you've lost your data." There's nothing you can do about it.

"Preparedness is the key today," Burton concluded. "We are in a whole new world, and these threats are going to come fast and furious." While solving them fast may not happen, solving them right can.


Read searchWindowsManageability's series on the Nimda virus.

Here are some more disaster recovery guidelines.

Dig Deeper on Windows Server troubleshooting

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