Symantec’s solution offers IM protection

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By  Published  November 25, 2006

Symantec unveiled a solution at Gitex designed to protect users from the growing threats posed by instant messaging on public and enterprise platforms.

The vendor’s Symantec IM Manager 8.0, instant messaging (IM) and real time communications (RTC) management solution was launched at the show last week.

It is part of Symantec’s Enterprise Messaging Management solution portfolio and is designed to control the use of public IM services and enterprise RTC platforms and manage compliance with legal and corporate governance policies.

Ruth Bowen, head of the co- mpliance team for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Symantec, said the adoption of IM as a means of communication by corporations was growing fast, bringing new security risks and compliance risks that the solution could address.

“Corporate adoption of IM has been growing at more than 200% per year,” claimed Bowen.

“And with this increase in usage comes security risks and compliance requirements.

“Enterprises need a way to secure, manage and archive all aspects of enterprise messaging while also insuring compliance with IT policies and government regulations.”

According to research firm IDC, uptake of IM will grow from its current 40 million-plus users to over 140 million by 2008, making it the fastest growing communications method of all time. This quick adoption has outpaced the speed with which IT administrators can deploy security and management solutions to protect it and opened the gateway for new forms of malicious code.

According to Symantec most IM use remains unmonitored at present — a particular danger as the real-time nature of IM combined with the sort of attacks which rely on social engineering techniques make IM threats particularly serious.

“Because of the speed of propagation with an IM threat, the cost to an organisation can mount by the minute, not the hour,” said Kevin Isaac, regional director for Symantec, Middle East and North Africa (MENA). “Protecting the 3 Is — information, infrastructure and interactions is Symantec’s main concern. IM Manager 8.0 protects interactions to a very high degree, thereby minimising the risk to a company’s data.”

To protect users against these threats, Symantec IM Manager 8.0 provides threat real time protection that secures the RTC infrastructure against external threats such as worms, spam and other unwanted content.

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