Symantec plugs managed IM

By Tim Lohman on May 3, 2006 1:10 PM
Filed under Security

Symantec has hit the education trail following the local launch of its managed Instant Messaging (IM) solution, IM Manager.

Symantec has hit the education trail following the local launch of its managed Instant Messaging (IM) solution, IM Manager.

With email volumes growing up to 30 percent a year according to Gartner, enterprises would increasingly turn to IM as an alternative, Symantec web security business senior product manager, Lee Weiner, said.

“IM is now used in 80 percent of companies worldwide and is being used as a real-time collaboration tool,” he said. “People find that it does increase productivity and decrease telephony and email infrastructure costs.”

With IDC US estimating that enterprise IM will grow from 40 million users today to more than 140 million by 2009, the challenges around email were now moving to IM, Weiner said.

“The challenges around public IM and enterprise IM are the same – viruses and access control, and the management and compliance of IM, such as who can send what files and managing business IP,” he said.

That many organisations had chosen to ignore the growing employee use of IM at work, had lead to an underestimation of potential secuity and legal exposure, Weiner, said.

“There are three stages in IM adoption: ignore it, block it or manage it,” he said. “You can’t ignore it now, and blocking it is a challenge as consumer IM companies want people to use their applications, so are making it easy to penetrate company firewalls.”

Wiener said an Australian sales channel for IM Manager was currently being established, with a per-seat pricing model starting at 10 users to come.

The application, which as yet only runs on Windows servers, would be released for Linux servers on a demand-only basis, he said.

In related news, security vendor Websense has issued an alert stating that it has received several reports of a new worm, "Nugache", which is spreading on AOL/MSN Instant Messenger networks and as an email attachment by exploiting several workstation vulnerabilities.

“The worm opens a back door on TCP port 8, and installs a bot to wait for commands from the attacker,” Websense said in the alert.

“The command & control channel that is used is unique, as the bot appears to connect to infected peers instead of a static list.

Because it used a peer-to-peer command & control channel it was more difficult to block commands issued to the bot, the company said.

“The traffic over this channel also uses obfuscation in an attempt to bypass intrusion detection systems,” it said.
 
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