Marshal Software is about to begin beta testing software intended to protect instant messaging from interception or the loss of company secrets.
Messenger Marshal will enable organisations to scan instant messages for viruses and malicious code and check content for profanities or language deemed to be inappropriate or commercially sensitive. It will also have the ability to measure bandwidth and log all instant messaging conversations.
The first version of Messenger Marshal will provide content security for Microsoft's MSN Messenger.
Marshal Software marketing manager Eric Freeman (pictured) says the beta will be trialled by several dozen organisations worldwide.
Marshal Software is among a crowd of software vendors -- including IBM, Microsoft and Yahoo, and specialists such as IMLogic, Akonix, FaceTime Communications and IM-Age -- jumping in to provide enterprise-level security for instant messaging, as the practice works its way quickly into the workplace.
In the US many IT managers are giving up the battle to block consumer instant messaging services and are deploying software that logs, audits, archives, enforces policy, tracks usage and use identification for consumer clients such as Yahoo, AOL, ICQ and MSN.
The Auckland-based company is best known for its email and web content filtering tools, Mail Marshal and Web Marshal, which claim 4000 individual customers in 25 countries.
Freeman says the ability to log conversations will be left up to the customer. "We can also do management reporting of prolific users of the technology and it’s up to the organisations to decide whether that’s a good or a bad thing.
He says the company wants to eventually provide a single console through which organisations can do all their security for web, email and messaging.