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Subsidizing Distribution of Free Anti-Virus Software Essay

In today’s technologically dependent society, organizations can run a high risk of infection from computer viruses. Due to this, it is necessary, as the CIO of the organization, to explore the need for distribution of free anti-virus software to home users on the network. As such, many organizations are faced with technical problems resulting from network security. An analysis of these security problems, to include an exploration of the role of the various IT users within the corporation, will reveal the need for distribution of free anti-virus software.

According to Vamosi (2004), “millions of PCs worldwide still do not have basic antivirus protection, and thus are susceptible to infection”. For Vamosi, the problem for many corporations lies within the fact that the computers within the corporation lack protection from virus attack and, as a result, would benefit from the instillation of free antivirus software. There are many potential issues that can affect the network security of an organization.

Specifically, there is a dire need for organizations to implement security plans and to install antivirus software on their network computers. As Vamosi describes, the problems associated with computer viruses could simply be solved if security organizations offered the programs free of charge. “Let the antivirus companies’ corporate clients pay for the software and the annual signature-file subscriptions, and let the home users download both for free” (Vamosi, 2004).

As such, it is essential to give further discussion into the role of the various users in the IT process, to include the roles of top management/non-IT management, IT professionals, and end-users in maintaining network security in order to determine the overall effectiveness of providing the home users with free anti-virus software. The core to the IT team includes the IT Management staff. The IT management staff, traditionally, will pair with non-IT management to make executive decisions.

More specifically, the Chief Information Officer is the IT manager responsible for “the day to day operations of an IT Department and the work of any contracted IT employees” (Watkins, 2008). It is important to mention that it will be this group of corporate employees that looks closely at the corporate budget in order to determine if the distribution of free anti-virus software to home users is a fiscally sound decision. Supporting the IT management team are the IT professionals.

These individuals “are trained to handle a wide variety of development, support, and administrative tasks related to keeping information systems operating efficiently and being used effectively” (Watkins, 2008). The IT staff members will handle the day to day issues associated with installing the antivirus software as well as troubleshooting issues that arise with the network itself. Providing the free anti-virus software will certainly provide assurance for this employee group that the network is safe and secure for home use.

The end-users in the corporation must also be considered in determining whether or not it is effective to install and distribute free anti-virus software on home use computers. In general, the end-users are those individuals who will work on computers within their home. As Watkins (2008) describes, “End-users typically have four types of issues, hardware-specific problems, operating-system specific problems, application-specific problems, and network/Internet specific problems. ”

In discussing the role of end users in this scenario, it is important to mention that end users also have different levels of skills. End-users “often lack is training in specific applications and in advanced Internet searching. They may also may be unaware of good security practices and often need help solving unexpected hardware and software problems” (Watkins, 2008). The core problem with security, as has been observed by many professionals in the IT field, was, at one time, that of viruses. That is, the viruses would load computers with adware and bring the PC to a halt.

And, as InfoWorld describes, many of the problems and issues resulting from viruses and other technical problems are the result of issues arising from within the organization itself. “The threat posed by their own employees isn’t lost on security pros, 56 percent of whom rated workers who fail to follow security policy as a significant security challenge” (2006). Based on the above, it is then necessary to take into consideration the variety in perspective in regards to computer virus attack held by users in the IT system.

According to Gaudin, “slightly more than 50 percent of end users surveyed say spam is not a problem in their workplace. However, 79. 1 percent of IT managers say it is a problem in the workplace. ” At the same time, “when end users were asked if they think spam is under control at their company, 8. 4 percent say it’s out of control; 23. 3 percent say it’s barely under control, and 68 percent say it is under control. “ This statistic can be compared to the results of IT administrators asked the same question.

According to the survey results, “10 percent say it’s out of control; 33 percent say it’s barely out of control, and 56 percent say they have it under control” (2004). It is necessary to determine, then, the specific role that corporate home users play in the receipt of free antivirus software. In order to best secure the organization and protect the home users from potential attacks, it is necessary to develop a strategic plan of action that will protect home users accessing the corporate network.

A plan of action, to include the distribution of free anti-virus software is essential, “as predatory as today’s criminally minded hackers are, IT professionals face plenty of threats from within their own enterprises — none more glaring than their own lack of a comprehensive plan for security” (InfoWorld, 2006). As the literature reveals, it is highly recommended that the corporation provide home users with free antivirus software. Doing this will enable the organization to more effectively secure the network while protecting corporate security from virus and other outside attack.


Gaudin, S. (2004). IT and End Users Differ on Spam Severity, Retrieved May 7, 2009 from: http://www. enterpriseitplanet. com/security/news/article. php/3370591 InfoWorld (2006). IT’s Confidence Crisis. Retrieved August 18, 2007 from http://www. infoworld. com/article/06/10/30/44FEsecsurvey_1. html Vamosi, R. (2004). Antivirus software must be free. Here’s why, Retrieved August 18, 2007 from: http://reviews-zdnet. com. com/4520-7297-5123825. html Watkins, P. (2008). Module 03 Background Information. Retrieved May 15, 2009 from E:\modules\module03\background. htm.

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