Security company CipherTrust recently announced an upgrade to its appliance designed to secure and manage corporate use of instant messaging with features that add tighter control and better threat protection to this popular communication channel.
IronIM 2.0, priced starting at US$6,000 (NZ$9,927), lets administrators use their company's Lightweight Directory Access Protocol directory to register and manage IM users, the company says. This integration lets administrators control users' access to public and private IM networks, and simplifies auditing and reporting of usage, the company says.
This version of IronIM also scans files that are attached to an IM message for viruses before letting them be transferred, CipherTrust says.
According to Gartner, 70% of the 103 million users of public IM accounts are in the office, although CipherTrust says most of that communication goes unmonitored and unprotected.
IronIM works with public IM networks, including those from AOL, MSN and Yahoo, as well as corporate IM systems from Microsoft and IBM.
It also lets users encrypt messages sent inside or outside the company, logs IM conversations for reporting and compliance purposes, and integrates with the administration and policy frameworks of other CipherTrust products, such as the company's IronMail email security gateway appliance, to simplify management, the company says.
Outbound IM messages can be scanned for keywords to ensure sensitive information, such as financial data or intellectual property, is not being sent outside the company.
In addition to scanning for viruses, IronIM blocks spam and other malware from coming across IM channels.
CipherTrust is one of many email security vendors that has expanded its product line to protect other forms of communication, including IM. Hosted security service providers MessageLabs, Postini and ScanSafe, appliance makers Barracuda and IronPort, and software maker Symantec have released products or services to manage and secure IM communications.