IM in the workplace

A perfect article by Rob Nash appeared today on IT-observer.com, called “IM in the workplace – if you can’t beat it, manage it”.

The article says that “according to analysts, corporate use of instant messaging (IM) is proliferating far beyond early expectations… A recent report by IDC found that there are more than 28 million business users worldwide using enterprise instant messaging products to send nearly one billion messages a day in 2005, this does not include the crossover of consumer instant messaging services used in businesses”.

Instant messaging has become an important issue for IT managers. But although IM offers “genuine business benefits”, the use of instant messaging is associated with information security risks.

All IM users have their own unique identity, anonymous to the IT manager. Individuals can also create IDs such as jobrown@acompany.com , even if the specific individual does not own these IDs and domains. Companies traditionally lack ownership and control of their corporate namespace on consumer IM networks, which can be used maliciously outside of corporate control, which could ultimately lead to vicarious liability cases or corporate sabotage.

Besides, none of the four major public IM providers encrypt their network traffic, so attackers can highjack connections, in order to intercept company-confidential information.

“IM is not an issue IT managers can afford to ignore. If you can’t beat it, manage it”. The article advises companies not to ban the use of IM in the workplace, but “embrace it”, move to enterprise IM systems, establish policies and take control.

This blog is run by the authors of FindProtected.
Prior to developing security policy, it is essential to analyze your computer or corporate network for valuable resources, sensitive information that should by no means be disclosed. FindProtected is an effective security program that allows you to search your network for password protected files. With FindProtected, you can properly identify protected files and relocate them if necessary.

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