ScanSafe has announced a new instant messaging (IM) service. This could well take on as, although IM usage has grown significantly in recent years, many IM installations are completely uncontrolled by corporate IT departments. Although a number of IT departments say they already block IM, employees are still finding ways to use the technology, and there is definitely a need to make IM more secure.
ScanSafe has announced the upcoming launch of its IM Control service.
In its research for the development of its IM Control service, managed security services (MSS) provider ScanSafe found that the vast majority of organizations are already using one or more of the main IM solutions, and are finding that the use of IM is becoming almost as important as email for its employees, providing significant business benefits.
Thus, many companies do not want to block IM per se. Many current IM problems exist because of the informal way in which IM usage first arrived into the business arena, with staff making use of IM technology before seeking formal management approval. Furthermore, it remains the case that many organizations still unofficially allow IM communications to take place without giving enough thought to putting protection and management systems in place to deal with the potential security fallout.
However, there is most definitely a need to make IM more secure – IM communications have the potential to deliver viruses, worms, Trojans, and spyware – malicious and unwanted content, and cause identity intrusion issues. In fact, pretty much any of the unwelcome security threats that are presented by the enterprise use of email communications also reappear in real-time through the establishment and usage of IM delivery protocols.
Furthermore, IM services also share many of the same regulatory compliance issues; these include the need to monitor for legal and regulatory requirements, and common archiving and privacy issues.
The ScanSafe IM Control service, when it is launched in April, will support compliance for archiving of IM use. This is already undertaken by many organizations in their email systems, but is unfortunately neglected for unregulated IM.
It is about time organizations were not surprised by the level of IM use by their employees and took control of the situation, taking it as seriously as email and other threats to IT security.
Source: OpinionWire by Butler Group (www.butlergroup.com)