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Protecting a company with a firewall from viruses during online transactions

We are a small financial institution, and we currently have a firewall in place and allow e-mail and Internet traffic. We use the Internet for our third-party partners and transactions. We are concerned that our firewall will not protect us from the recent influx of viruses. The firewall is managed and updated proactively. Any suggestions on how to prevent the virus fear from our online transactions and vendors?

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Your firewall definitely won't protect you unless it has malware protection built in. I would suggest installing an e-mail gateway that can provide malware protection such as NetIQ's MailMarshal or Symantec's Anti-virus Gateway. You could also use a third-party ASP service that provides e-mail protection such as Singlefin. Either way, if you can detect/eliminate malware at the network perimeter, you'll be much better off. Also, be sure to install malware protection at the desktop level as well, in case something does get through.

This was first published in August 2004

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