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Implementing third-party security solutions with IM

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March 20, 2006

Despite claims from Internet security company ScanSafe, market research analyst IDC says that more than 28 million business people use instant messaging (IM) accounts daily. "IM has rapidly found its way into enterprise computing environments and is now an integral part of corporate communication," says Dan Nadir, v.p. of product strategy at ScanSafe.

"What's interesting is that many IT departments are treating IM in the same way that web-based email was handled a few years ago. They are banning or blocking it completely to stop potential security risks, such as malicious attacks, malware and the disclosure of confidential information."

ScanSafe estimates that enterprise users running IM clock up one billion messages a day.

"IM is not an issue that enterprises can afford to ignore," said John O'Keefe, senior analyst for internet and managed services at Current Analysis.

"One way that enterprises can take control of this trend is by implementing third-party security solutions. Corporations need to know what their employees are communicating over all channels."

ScanSafe has launched a new service called IM Control which offers scanning and filtering of public IM networks such as MSN Messenger and AOL's AIM.

"It is time for security managers to start addressing the problem in a different way. We believe that IM Control will become the enabling technology to allow businesses to manage, rather than mismanage, IM," said Nadir.

Nadir claimed that IM Control requires a simple configuration change to provide virus-scanning protection and content filtering for IM traffic, as well as giving an IT department control and reporting options.

The service is powered by IM security vendor Akonix and uses ScanSafe's Outbreak Intelligence heuristics engine.

Source: Vnunet

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