Preventing viruses and worms from entering e-mail systems is becoming more challenging as viruses continue to get smarter. However, a relatively new alternative to that is outsourcing e-mail scanning."We were using an antivirus tool, and new viruses were still getting by and hitting our systems. We looked at gateway tools but concluded that it was more work than it was worth for our small IT staff," says Chris Monicatti, director of technology services at the Minnesota Wild National Hockey League team. All e-mail to and from Minnesota Wild is now scanned by MessageLabs. Messages are scanned with two e-mail scanning products and investigated by a proprietary tool. This growing interest in e-mail scanning can be chalked up to the fact that companies are more diligent now than a year ago in protecting themselves against viruses, says Maurene Caplan Grey, research director at Gartner. Outsourcing e-mail scanning is not different from outsourcing any other part of IT, Grey says. "There are organizations that are unable to manage their internal environment or that have a fractured environment with disparate offices with their own e-mail gateways. Outsourcing may be less costly in such cases." Gartner further advises companies to install scanning tools from different vendors at the firewall, at the e-mail server and at the desktop. "One vendor is going to be first to provide the signature to catch a new virus," says Grey, so companies stand a better chance of being protected if they rely on multiple solutions.