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ScanSafe Announces First Integrated Managed Service For Instant Messaging And Web Security

March 20th, 2006

ScanSafe, the pioneer in managed web security services, today announced that it is expanding its managed security services to help transform Instant Messaging (IM) from an enterprise security risk into a secure, compliant and controlled collaborative tool.

IM Control, ScanSafe´s new addition to its fully managed services portfolio, provides companies and employees with full scanning and filtering protection against the multiple risks associated with uncontrolled use of public IM networks such as MSN Messenger and AOL, while maintaining the powerful productivity benefits of these applications. Companies can now address their growing security concerns with the world´s first integrated managed security service for high-performance scanning of web and IM traffic.

According to IDC, there are now more than 28 million business users of enterprise instant messaging applications sending an estimated one billion messages a day. These messages are largely uncontrolled and in ScanSafe´s 2005 Web Security Threat Report the number of chat related blocks increased by more than 600 per cent in the second half of last year, suggesting that enterprises already realise the potential risk of unmanaged IM.

Dan Nadir, VP of product strategy at ScanSafe, explained: “IM has quickly found its way into enterprise computing environments and is now integral to corporate communication and collaboration. But what´s interesting is that many IT departments are treating instant messaging in the same way web-based email was handled a few years ago – banning or blocking it completely to stop potential security risks, such as malicious attacks, malware and disclosure of confidential information. It´s time for security managers to start addressing the problem in a different way; we believe that IM Control will become the enabling technology to allow businesses to manage IM, rather than mismanage it.”

ScanSafe IM Control requires only a simple configuration change before providing full virus-scanning protection and content filtering for IM traffic, as well as sophisticated control and reporting. Powered by leading IM security vendor Akonix and using Outbreak Intelligence, ScanSafe´s heuristics engine, all public IM communications are protected with a complete ´defense in depth´ security architecture. ScanSafe´s unique service does not require the use of a proprietary client; enterprises can continue to use the existing public clients that employees are already using. Additionally, IM Control supports a corporate archive by plugging into existing solutions; compliance is automatically built in.

“Instant messaging is not an issue enterprises can afford to ignore,” said John O´Keefe, Current Analysis´ Senior Analyst for Internet/Managed Services. “One way enterprises can take control of this trend is by implementing third-party security solutions. Corporations need to know what their employees are communicating over all channels and with IM Control, ScanSafe delivers a unique, managed and secure approach for the marketplace that provides scanning, keyword filtering and policy compliance through archiving capabilities.”

Global search firm Russell Reynolds is planning to add the new service to its existing ScanSafe web security services. Gavin Atkinson said: “IM Control provides real defence in depth security and will help protect us from IM viruses and other protocol threats. We can also use the logging and auditing capabilities to help us manage our growing IM specific compliance requirements. Having a service that is fully managed offsite is much more effective, taking away the worries and drain on our IT resources while providing the comfort factor that the job is being done around the clock.”

“IT professionals are realising that as they have continued to invest in email security, the threat has migrated to the web and to IM,” Dan Nadir added. “Using our service, companies can be confident that their IM is secure, compliant and controlled. We allow customers to leverage the scanning capacity of our worldwide network without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars on multiple appliances for each location. IM is as immediate as web traffic and our clients want to rely on zero latency scanning of their IM messages.”

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