A virus is a piece of potentially malicious programming code that will cause some unexpected or undesirable event. Viruses can be transmitted via e-mail or instant messaging attachments, downloadable Internet files, diskettes, and CDs. Viruses are usually disguised as something else, and so their presence is not always obvious to the computer user. A virus infection can be very costly to [company name] in terms of lost data, lost staff productivity, and/or lost reputation.
As a result, one of the goals of [company name] is to provide a computing network that is virus-free. The purpose of this policy is to provide instructions on measures that must be taken by [company name] employees to help achieve effective virus detection and prevention.
This policy applies to all computers that are connected to the [company name] network via a standard network connection, wireless connection, modem connection, or virtual private network connection. This includes both company-owned computers and personally-owned computers attached to the [company name] network. The definition of computers includes desktop workstations, laptop computers, handheld computing devices, and servers.
Currently, [company name] has [describe type anti-virus software in use and type of license]. Licensed copies of [name anti-virus software] can be obtained at [online/offline location]. The most current available version of the anti-virus software package will be taken as the default standard.
All computers attached to the [company name] network must have standard, supported anti-virus software installed. This software must be active, be scheduled to perform virus checks at regular intervals, and have its virus definition files kept up to date.
Any activities with the intention to create and/or distribute malicious programs onto the [company name] network (e.g. viruses, worms, Trojan horses, e-mail bombs, etc.) are strictly prohibited.
If an employee receives what he/she believes to be a virus, or suspects that a computer is infected with a virus, it must be reported to the IT department immediately at [provide contact information]. Report the following information (if known): virus name, extent of infection, source of virus, and potential recipients of infected material.
Never open any files or macros attached to an e-mail from a known source (even a coworker) if you were not expecting a specific attachment from that source.
Be suspicious of e-mail messages containing links to unknown Web sites. It is possible that the link is a malicious executable (.exe) file disguised as a link. Do not click on a link sent to you if you were not expecting a specific link.
Files with the following filename extensions are blocked by the e-mail system: [list extensions]. [Describe any workaround procedures for sending/receiving business-critical files with banned extensions, such as use of a file compression utility.]
Never copy, download, or install files from unknown, suspicious, or untrustworthy sources or removable media.
Avoid direct disk sharing with read/write access. Always scan a floppy diskette for viruses before using it.
If instructed to delete e-mail messages believed to contain a virus, be sure to also delete the message from your Deleted Items or Trash folder.
Back up critical data and systems configurations on a regular basis and store backups in a safe place.
Regularly update virus protection on personally-owned home computers that are used for business purposes. This includes installing recommended security patches for the operating system and other applications that are in use.
IT Department Responsibilities
The following activities are the responsibility of the [company name] IT department:
The IT department is responsible for maintaining and updating this Anti-Virus Policy. Copies of this policy will be posted at [list locations]. Check one of these locations regularly for updated information.
The IT department will keep the anti-virus products it provides up-to-date in terms of both virus definitions and software version in use. [Describe manner and frequency of updating.]
The IT department will apply any updates to the services it provides that are required to defend against threats from viruses.
The IT department will install anti-virus software on all [company name] owned and installed desktop workstations, laptops, and servers.
The IT department will assist employees in installing anti-virus software according to standards on personally-owned computers that will be used for business purposes. The IT department [will/will not] provide anti-virus software in these cases.
The IT department will take appropriate action to contain, remove, and assist in recovery from virus infections. In order to do so, the IT department may be required to disconnect a suspect computer from the network or disconnect an entire segment of the network.
The IT department will perform regular anti-virus sweeps of [system(s) name] files.
The IT department will attempt to notify users of [company name] systems of any credible virus threats via e-mail or telephone messages. Virus reports will not be acted upon until validated. Employees should not forward these or any virus warning messages in order to keep network traffic to a minimum.
Department and Individual Responsibilities
The following activities are the responsibility of [company name] departments and employees:
Departments must ensure that all departmentally-managed computers have virus protection that is in keeping with the standards set out in this policy.
Departments that allow employees to use personally-owned computers for business purposes must implement virus protection processes and procedures that are in keeping with the standards set out in this policy.
All employees are responsible for taking reasonable measures to protect against virus infection.
Employees must not attempt to either alter or disable anti-virus software installed on any computer attached to the [company name] network without the express consent of the IT department.