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Dealing with Instant Messaging Security Issues

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench

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Posted: 17 May 2002

Cool Solutions readers are split pretty evenly between the three main Instant Messaging services. Here are the results of a poll conducted in December 2001.

Which Instant Messaging service do you use?
AIM -- 27%
MSN -- 28%
ICQ -- 23%
Other -- 10%
None -- 30%

Total Votes: 1372

Many of you are grappling with the issues of handling Instant Messaging security, and more and more business owners are asking for guidelines and recommendations on how to deal with it. Here is a very good article from the SANS Institute (with some outstanding reference links) that will help you understand the issues, evaluate your own environment and prepare you to deal with this problem proactively.

Open Call: Please send us your own experiences. Have you seen any serious security breaches because of employees using Instant Messaging? Have you implemented policies to control it? How are you monitoring its use? We'd love to take a look at what's going on out there. Hope to hear from you soon at

An Instant War, Just Add Chat: The Growth of Instant Messaging Technology

Jack Schiller

Just as there was a steadily growing war for dominance between Web-Browsers during the 1990's, there has been a similar battle within the microcosm of the Instant Messaging (IM) world. And like the larger browser war, the area of IM technologies has had a snowball beginning, a proliferation of initial players and capabilities, large corporations playing hardball politics with their popularity strategies, and, as with every new freedom or technology, new areas for potential risks. In the following discussion, the background, major players, IM capabilities, competitive environment, security issues, recommended solutions, and future outlook will be explored. The purpose of the information presented here is to provide the reader with a rich synthesis of observations and ideas, encourage the reader to evaluate their current technological environment, and spur one to explore what additional work may need to be done in this security issue.

Read the whole article...

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