If your business has suffered a virus attack and your network has been compromised, you'll need to act fast in order to prevent the virus from spreading to other computers on your network. Once a virus penetrates your security defenses, it can quickly rip through your network, destroying files, corrupting data, rendering applications useless and causing expensive lulls in productivity. The following recommendations will help you quickly get your small business back up and running again.

Above all, learn from your mistakes. If a virus penetrated your defenses, consider changing or enhancing your current security practices. Ask yourself why your previous security measures weren't effective. Did you need a firewall? Were you lax about updating virus definitions and security patches? Did you download files without scanning them first? Now is an ideal time to comb through, edit and reinforce your IT security policy, as you'll need to shore up the holes in your security practices. After all, prevention is always the best security policy.

Mark Piening is senior director of worldwide small to medium-sized (SMB) marketing for Symantec Corporation, which offers a host of security and availability products, as well as information on the latest virus threats and step-by-step guides through its website,www.symantec.com. He can be reached atmark_piening@symantec.com.