What you will learn from this tip: How Akonix L7 Enterprise 4.0 secures instant messaging applications.
Whether your organization is deploying IM for business use or, like most companies,
IM security is a growing concern, surfacing just as many organizations feel they're finally gaining the upper hand against e-mail-borne malware, spam and intellectual property theft. In March, IM users were hit with three new worms -- FATSO.A, Kelvir-C and Bropia -- and regulatory controls like HIPAA and Visa CISP require organizations to know exactly what type of information is being passed on their network.
L7 Enterprise gives organizations tight control over IM use through a wealth of configuration, containment and compliance options that can, for example, block file transfers, games and video conferencing. The Enterprise Manager console is easy to use and will let you get as specific or as general as you wish.
Want to block all IM file transfers to the Internet? L7 will let you create a policy. Want to be alerted if a certain user establishes an IM session with a specific internal user? No problem; security managers can monitor and log conversations for regulatory and internal policy compliance.
Malware is controlled through dynamically updated signatures to detect worm patterns, and by scanning all file transfers with Symantec or McAfee AV.
Spim is controlled through a combination of policies and blacklists, and real-time content filtering enforces acceptable-use policies.
The mechanisms for internal audit and compliance reporting are flexible and robust. The Enterprise Manager logs and archives activity, and allows for periodic reports to be e-mailed to admin-defined accounts; reports on workflow, policy violations and user activity are among the options.
A management solution is worth nothing if users can simply install an IM client on their workstation and go about their messaging business without adhering to corporate policy. L7 Enterprise brings IM users under control by interfacing with directories for authentication. Import entire Windows Active Directory or NT 4.0 domains, interface with Novell's eDirectory, or insert a line into the global login script. If there's no enterprise directory, L7 allows security managers to create local users and groups. Policies can then be assigned by user, group and domain.
L7 gives security mangers a live look at the enterprise IM environment and enough flexibility to manage that environment to meet security and acceptable-use policies. From malware control to group policy enforcement, L7 is a full-featured, enterprise-ready solution to both the current threats and those that loom on the peer-to-peer messaging horizon.
This was first published in May 2005