Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Primus to Provide VoIP for MSN Messenger

Primus Telecommunications Group, Inc. has entered into an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to provide Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) services for MSN Messenger Service customers. Marketed as "PrimusTalk," once a user has logged into MSN Messenger Service, calls can be made by clicking on the "Make a Phone Call" link. A phone dialer will appear where a call can be made to any number -- national, international or mobile.

The McLean, Va.-based Primus will provide PrimusTalk service as an Internet telephony application that can be accessed by any user accessing MSN Messenger Service. Specifically, the PC-to-phone service will be integrated with the MSN Messenger Service as an option that may be accessed by users of Microsoft client software programs.

"Primus is leading the way to a carrier class era of converged communications solutions," said John Melick, co-president of Primus and one of the principal developers and implementers of the company's VoIP initiatives. "As a third-party solutions provider with market leading positions in global voice and Internet services, the advantage of Primus offering a voice service over the Internet's architecture is the added convenience and value available to customers by engaging in communications at their desktop or wherever they are using a MSN Messenger Service-enabled device."

Primus owns and operates its own global VoIP backbone network connecting over 300 points-of-presence in over 80 countries in Asia-Pacific, the Americas and Europe. The network is supported by automated backroom systems and operating control centers. Primus can terminate VoIP calls to virtually any destination in the world where such termination is not prohibited by law.

Operating as a VoIP carrier for more than two years, Primus now has over an six percent worldwide market share for international VoIP traffic, according to a 2001 TeleGeography Report. The company is now expanding through the launch of new products and the formation of third party relationships to extend its VoIP services directly to end-user business and consumer customers who will be able to directly access Primus' global VoIP network.

By owning and operating its own public switched telephone network (PSTN) of switching faculties and fiber optic cable capacity, Primus is able to provide back-up and disaster recovery for its VoIP network. Primus also owns and operates its own global asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and IP backbone network. As such, Primus maintains peering relationships and Internet network facilities supporting IP services on a higher level than most pure-play VoIP providers.

New AIM Beta Turns On Two-Way Social Networking

A new beta release of AIM's client software moves the instant messaging service ahead on its increasing awareness of the challenges posed by social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

With the release of AIM 2.0.222, "Lifestream" features offer users a way to post to their accounts on Twitter, Facebook, delicious, Digg, YouTube and flickr from the client, providing a one-stop location for updates to and from assorted buddies, friends and contacts on those services. AIM has also enhanced mobile integration, allowing users to update their statuses or receive updates from their contacts via SMS.

One-way integration with the services, using the AIM client as a way to receive updates, was introduced earlier in the summer when was introduced.

Setting up a new connection between an AIM account and a service involves clicking an "add" link on the service and stepping through whatever authorization mechanisms it provides. Connecting an AIM account to Facebook, for instance, involves approving several kinds of interaction between the two services, including what kinds of updates can be shared across services.

Once a service is connected to AIM, updates from it appear in a "Lifestream" tab on the AIM client (see the screenshot). The new beta also offers the ability to post comments or responses to updates from linked services. Finally, users can choose to filter the updates shown in the AIM client, limiting them by service or update type.

Reports around the Web indicate that the new update capabilities aren't yet perfected. While it's possible to reliably pull in status upd ates from outside services via the AIM client, sending updates to those services appears to work only some of the time.

By Staff

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Instant Messaging Over LAN

It used to be that businesses had a general dependance on what types of products and services were attractive to the internet users. In the early days of the Internet, networking LAN technologies and needs were the driving force behind the creation of many software applications and tools that users accessed. The growing popularity of the World Wide Web with casual computer users led to a paradigm shift in how to approach usable software solutions for these users. Simple to install and use software applications such as file sharing, e-mail and instant chat programs were instantly popular.

Businesses began to take notice of how these tools could be useful in everyday work settings. As such, organizations began to look into how to utilize collaborative tools such as sending IMs on LANs, social network portals and productivity applications to support their objectives. Initial tools required either using obscure and hard to understand command line utilities such as net send in order to communicate on a networking LAN environment. While this method was effective in keeping communications internal and secure within the company network system, unless users were skilled computer technicians, it wasn't a practical solution. It soon became apparent that more user friendly resolutions needed to be implemented for the corporate world.

The growing popularity of the Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk and MSN Messenger programs were a driving force into the development of effective networking LAN IM solutions. While all of these tools can be used to communicate with virtually anyone that is connected to the Internet, they can also allow business users to communicate with one another. For the business, this solution does present some risks. It meant that to accommodate the ability for users to work together by sending IMs on LAN equipment, they would be able to contact people outside of the organization.

The solution to preventing a security risk from allowing sending IMs on LAN networks was easy to implement. Each of these popular messaging programs has been updated to allow specific configuration on networking LAN topologies to only allow people to see other users on the same intranet. For a company that wished to keep their software solutions in-house, the creation of custom chat programs helped to overcome the possible risk of outside intrusion. The end result was that the casual user caused businesses to take notice and influenced the solution for a common organizational need.

Source: Ali Gheli

Monday, September 5, 2011

Apptix Secure Instant Messaging Software

Apptix Secure Instant Messaging is an enterprise-class messaging system that protects against security breaches without compromising the efficiency and productivity of instant communications. Native integration with Microsoft Outlook® provides real-time Presence awareness for more effective connections.

Key Benefits

* Enhanced communication and collaboration through media-rich interactive audio or video online meetings
* Significant reduction of business travel costs
* Recording functionality for future playback
* Seamless integration with other hosted solutions
* Includes Secure Instant Messaging

Standard Features

* End-to-end encryption
* One-on-one or multi-user chats
* Integration with Microsoft Outlook
* Direct access to contacts within Global Address List
* Real-time Presence information
* Alerts when contacts become available

Optional Capabilities

In addition to standard IM service, Apptix enables you to extend your Instant Messaging capabilities to your mobile device. This allows you to access contacts within the Global Address List, get real-time Presence information, and both initiate and receive Instant Messages wherever you go.

Why Apptix?

Over 20,000 organizations around the world choose Apptix for their hosted communication, collaboration, and infrastructure needs. Apptix delivers Reliable, Easy-to-Manage services backed by 24/7 Customer Service – for Reduced TCO and Unbeatable Value.

Monday, August 22, 2011

5 Reasons You Don't Need Facebook Messenger

Facebook's free Instant Messaging application for iPhone and Android has already got many downloads - but that doesn't mean it's a special achievement.

Facebook released Tuesday a standalone IM tool for the iPhone and Android, spread between cell phone users a dedicated tool for messaging it up with their Facebook friends. The prog has already proven its popularity by rocketing to the top of the iPhone Free Apps list, but popularity alone does not make for a great utility.

Here are five simple reasons why professionals don't need the Facebook Messenger app.

1. It's Redundant

There's already an official Facebook messaging app for the iPhone and Android. It's called Facebook. If you want to message your friends from your phone, you just launch it, go the to main menu, and tap Messages. When you have new messages in the regular Facebook app, you still get a notification badge. While it may make business sense for Facebook to make a play to become a major instant messaging service in competition with AIM and Microsoft Windows Live Messenger, it doesn't make much sense for end users to download a whole new app to do something the regular Facebook app already does.
10 Essential Google+ Tips
Slideshow: 10 Essential Google+ Tips
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)

2. It's Interruptastic

Instant messaging is one of the worst distractions you can install on any device, and every working person who's ever run an IM app on their PC knows how distracting (not to mention painfully annoying) an unexpected "Wassssaaaap?" from some bored buddy can be in the middle of a work day. Generally speaking, IM of any kind is a productivity drain for busy people. For reasons I'll explain in my third point, that goes double for Facebook Messenger.

3. Social Context

For IT managers and business managers alike, public IM platforms are a liability. One of the chief reasons for this, apart from security issues that I'll discuss momentarily, is that these apps open up to a worker's entire social network. So, in place of a productive, intranet-based collaboration tool, you get a wild-west timewaster in which everyone every worker knows is always a double-click away. Facebook's wide-open approach to mingling means you can't easily put yourself in "work" mode and receive messages from colleagues only during the business day. You're just open to everyone unless you turn off alerts. While Facebook Messenger does have the ability to mute alerts for 1 hour, it needs a setting to turn alerts off until after 5 p.m. or a user-customizable time.

4. Messenger Creep

Most IM users already have an AIM account, a Google Chat account, a Live Messenger account, and maybe a Yahoo Messenger account. I still have an old ICQ account from the mid-1990s. By making a bid to become your new go-to IM client, Facebook is adding to, rather than helping to eliminate, social fragmentation.

5. Trust Issues

Facebook accounts have become a prime target for online and offline thieves, and getting into an account can be as easy as stealing someone's cellphone from a restaurant table while the owner's head is turned. One of the most common scams that an intruder will run once he's broken into an account is to message all of accountholder's friends in an attempt to extract money or sensitive information. Even Facebook board member Jim Breyer has fallen prey to this kind of attack, and I've seen this type of threat first-hand myself. Until Facebook demonstrably fixes its security flaws, IT managers might do well to discourage Facebook IM as a channel for business communications.

Author: Robert Strohmeyer

Monday, July 25, 2011

How To Secure Your Instant Messaging Communication?

Instant messaging (IM) existed before the Internet in multi-user operating systems as early as the 1960s. In 1996, Internet-wide IM became widely available through the ICQ platform. During the early days of Internet IM, ICQ and subsequent instant messaging services lacked privacy and security. Although IM services have increased security measures, there are still many risks in using an IM service. Take precautions that ensure secure IM.

1. Use messaging services that support encryption for authentication during log in and when messages are sent and received, such as Skype or AOL Instant Messenger. Encryption help to keep your passwords and messages from being hacked by unwanted persons across the Internet.

Some IM providers have encryption turned on by default while others ask you to turn it on in your messenger settings yourself. Before using a service, double check your settings to make sure encryption is enabled.

2. Prefer an IM company that does not keep a log or history from communications. Many IM services say they clean up their logs every few weeks, but a handful, including MSN Instant Messenger, do not store any logs of user activities.

3. Communicate through IM with people you already know and trust. This is the best way to avoid getting viruses or malicious files through an IM platform.

4. Always have anti-virus software updated during IM sessions. This will give you additional security from possible firewall invasions or viruses that can be transmitted unknowingly from your friends and colleagues.

5. Log off IM when you are finished chatting instead of just minimizing the window. Turn off the automatic connection selection on your IM software. There is no need to leave your computer open to risk when you are not actively messaging.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How Secure Is Instant Messaging?

Instant Messaging software (IM) can be a really helpful tool, but we know the following risks:

Don’t think your everyday IM conversations are private. They going over the network unencrypted and can be easily stealed. IM isn't a good way to transfer sensitive data such as credit card numbers, passwords, and social security numbers. It's about as secure as email, which is to say "not all that secure."

Worms are also a big problem. Several IM worms will send messages to all your IM buddies with instructions to "click here" to play a computer game or view an image, but point instead to a malicious URL that installs a virus. These messages will appear to your buddies either as you are initiating a session with them or in the middle of an existing IM session with you. And the worm is even smart enough to impersonate your buddy in the conversation if you try to verify his or her identity with a question like, "Is it really you?" To prevent infection, keep your IM software up-to-date and always install the latest security patches.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Akeni Instant Messaging Software

Akeni Instant Messaging software - Business LAN IM is a client/server instant messaging platform that allows companies to keep their own secured private IM talks. The client has an user interface similar to AIM, ICQ, or MSN Messenger. It supports all the standard IM features such as chat, group conference, presence management, file transfer, offline messages and emergency alert/notification. Extra features include contact management and optional tabbed chat sessions.The server has advanced administration tools for managing user accounts, client-side logging capabilities and peer-to-peer file transfers. Akeni Pro Messenger can be setup on a private network without connecting to the internet and can easily be setup for use inside and outside the company firewall.

Akeni Instant Messaging -Pro Business IM 1.2 Chat Tools software developed by Akeni. The license of this chat tools software is shareware, the price is $199.00, you can free download and get a free trial before you buy a registration or license. Do not use warez version, crack, serial numbers, registration codes, pirate key for this chat tools software Akeni Instant Messaging - Pro Business IM.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Basic rules for secure IM communication.

As time progresses, cybercriminals are refining their techniques to lure potential victims to visit malicious hyperlinks. Instant messaging is a very effective way for malware to stay active and thrive.

Last week, an unnamed computer worm forced Microsoft to temporarily suspend active links in its Live Messenger 2009 to prevent the aggressive instant messaging (IM) worm spreading.

Mak James, technical manager at ESET UK comments, “This is quite a surprising measure, because worms spreading through Instant Messaging (IM) such as Skype, Yahoo! Messenger and Microsoft Live Messenger are not new at all. For example, the AimVen worm was discovered in 2003 and was targeting the America Online Instant Messenger platform,”

James continues, “The modus operandi for this type of attack is simple. First the victim receives a message that contains a hyperlink from one of their contacts, clicks on it and gets infected. The worm can also use geo-localisation in order to use the victim's language and even relate to news or events trending in the victim's country. These advanced techniques may trick even the most cautious users.

ESET has compiled seven golden security rules while instant messaging:

1. Opening pictures, downloading files or clicking links should be avoided at all cost in case it comes from someone you do not know. Do not open suspicious files or links even if they come for someone you know; try to confirm with the person on the origin of the attachment.

2. Do not reply to messages from people you don’t know if you were not expecting them. If someone you do not recognise sends you a request to add him/her to your contacts, decline the request if not sure about the identity of the contact.

3. Unwanted messages ought to be blocked - blocking spam or messages from strangers might be easier than you think – most IM software allows you to create your own contact list.

4. Do not post sensitive information and private data in instant messages, especially refrain from sharing credit card numbers, banking details, paswords or important personal identification data like phone number or addresses. You should also avoid sharing information about your IM name or e-mail contact over the Intertnet.

5. Your Instant Messaging should also have as strong a password as any other account. Always use different passwords for different accounts and other online services (such as online banking, e-mail). Do not recycle your password. If you log in on public or shared computer, make sure to uncheck the automatic login feature.

6. Avoid meeting strangers that you have met online while instant messaging. If you decide to meet someone in real person anyway, take safety precautions – bring someone along with you.

7. Turn off your Web camera if you are not using it, as some malware allows criminals and strangers to spy on you through your own webcam. If you have an integrated camera, always check the control light that it is off when you are not using it.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Consumer Instant Messaging in Business

Earlier this year, in its Internet Trends report, Morgan Stanley wrote about two fast emerging commerce platforms, social networking and mobile, calling them “game-changing IM communications.” Game-changing is an excellent descriptor, as the coming together of a number of factors have paved the way for a phenomenon happening throughout businesses, regardless of industry or size, that have had a profound impact on messaging technologies, employees and IT. Even though these products and tools were originally designed for consumers, they are finding their way into the corporate world at a staggering pace.

One of the key reasons is the adoption of these messaging communications for personal use. “We have seen such an adoption of technology in the home,” observes Ian Moyse, channel director for Webroot Software, Inc. “If you think about it, the home has become much more IT literate. It wasn’t so long ago that we didn’t have a PC at home, or if you did it was a really big box and quite expensive. Now people have laptops.” Moyse points to how in the U.K. ISPs have been known to give away cheap laptops with broadband connections. “On the home PC, you have the freedom of choice for anything you install. If you have an iPad or iPhone, of course you need iTunes, so that is installed. Then there is social media: Facebook, Twitter, etc. People are used to using all these things at home and then they come to work and want to use a particular device or application.” Because people are more IT literate than ever before, Moyse believes employees are much more likely to make technology choices without the approval of IT.

Pete Schlampp, vice president of marketing for Solera Networks characterizes this shift as the perfect storm. “First, Apple starts making these really cool products that everyone wants to have” iPhone, Mac laptop, iPads. Then you have this other trend where people are used to Facebook or Gmail, and there is this consumerization of IT, where people are very comfortable with IT. Then you have this massive recession, where companies aren’t spending money on the IT that they want to—whether it’s new computers, new servers, or better security. Finally, you have employees saying: ‘Why can’t I use my Mac or my iPhone?’ And so what has happened, is IT has let their guard down, and don’t have a good answer as to why not.”

This IT literacy is a driving force in the shift, as more and more employees are taking it upon themselves to choose the messaging technologies and tools they want in the workplace. “Almost every customer that I have talked to in the last month or two is dealing with this in some form or fashion,” acknowledges Fred Kost, director of marketing for security and borderless networks at Cisco Systems, Inc. “Users are procuring their own devices. It used to be BlackBerrys, but now we are seeing this huge influx of the popularity of a full-featured hybrid in the consumer’s hand and it is driving this desire to say: ‘Why can’t I get on the network and use this device?’ There are consumers that are pushing it into the IT environment just by numbers, price point and functionality.”
Personal vs. Company Issued

A recent study, The Cisco Connected World Report, which surveyed 2,600 workers and IT professionals in 13 countries, revealed that two of every three employees surveyed (66 percent) expect IT to allow them to use any device—personal or company-issued—to access corporate networks, applications, and information anywhere, at any time, and they expect the types of devices to continue diversifying.

“When a person gets a device, they are going to take it to work,” believes Dr. Nathaniel Borenstein, the co-creator of the Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) email standard (the standard that still holds today) and chief scientist for Mimecast. “I think there is no getting around it. How openly they do it and how soon they do it is a function of the corporate culture. If you value a device enough to spend your own money for it, you probably are going to find it valuable at work, unless they give you something very similar.”

This trend seems to be taking hold. According to a recent Forrester Research report, almost half of U.S. and European businesses surveyed are embracing the notion of allowing personally owned devices access to a secure corporate network.

“Most of the companies we talk to have a majority of their employees on personally liable or individually liable phones vs. corporate,” confirms Dan Nemo, chief operating officer of TextGuard Inc. “This means they are bringing the phone into the workplace, but it is owned by the employee.” Nemo estimates that it is 60 to 70 percent of the companies he deals with. “Employees are bringing their personal devices to work and saying I want to get this connected and the employer has a choice. They can get better productivity, figuring the employee will work at home, at the doctor’s office, etc, plus the company doesn’t have to buy a big package, instead it can reimburse the employee for a piece. We hear many companies don’t want to take on the administrative hassle and the expense of phone plans. We expect this phenomenon will continue to happen, driven by employees that want the newest devices out there.”

The challenge to IT, as a result, is a host of mobile phone types to deal with. “We have two dynamics going on, one is the consumer wanting to do it, and the other is the IT organization trying to figure out how to support it,” says Kost. “Maybe it is more economical if employees do buy their own devices. So clearly, the device itself is having an impact.”

But can IT manage all the devices equally well? “I don’t think you can, yet,” says Borenstein. “I remember when people wanted to write user interfaces, applications that worked on the PC, Mac and UNIX. What they really wanted was a tool kit that would make them work on all of them with minimal modifications by the programmer, at one point that was an impossible dream. But now we have tool kits that do exactly that. It is likely to happen in the smartphone market, but not when it is evolving as quickly as it is. It can’t happen when it is evolving as quickly as it is! But once a few vendors shake out, and Android stabilizes and it becomes clear what Apple is and isn’t going to change about multi-tasking, and stuff like that, then you can imagine a software layer that produces an interface for the BlackBerry, the iPhone, etc. But I think we have a really difficult period for several years before that.”

With the days of a company supplying an employee with a phone dwindling these past three or four years, companies have benefited financially by avoiding expensive plans and employees get to use the phone of their choosing. “Employees definitely think it is great,” says Schlampp. “But it opens up a lot of security challenges. Certainly one of them is when someone brings in a device onto the network. How do you know where that device has been? How do you know if the person who is using it is the right person? Frankly, the technology to ensure that is not at the same level as if I was to bring my Dell laptop, which can be authenticated. So you have that trend going on, with companies unable to stem the tide and they do not have the resources to be able to say anything about it.”

Perhaps feeding this trend toward personal mobile phone use is the pace of adoption of these impressive mobile devices. In the same Morgan Stanley report, the authors noted that mobile is ramping faster than desktop Internet did and will be bigger than most people expect. The report predicts that more users will likely connect to the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs within five years. With mobile growth such as this, it might have been impossible to tell employees that they could not use their personal mobile devices at work anyway. But what of other consumer oriented messaging, like social media?

“Unless the user at work is locked down totally, there comes the dilemma in the particular world we are in, of security,” says Moyse. “The further you lock down a machine you impede the user to a point that they can’t work. So there has to be a balance. What we see in a lot of organizations is an element of lock down, but they can’t lock down as much as they’d like, because the help desk calls go up incredibly as users can’t do this or that. If you lock everyone down and take the big brother approach in the work environment, users are dissatisfied.”

Moyse also notes, because employees are so IT literate, that if users are impeded, they start to look for work arounds. “You often see a department that has one expert user that is really IT literate, install something. And someone else says: ‘Where did you get that?’ And the expert says: ‘I’ll install that for you’ and word gets around how to do it. It’s that viral thing, where someone downloads it and then emails it to three colleagues. That is the nature of the Web and email that has opened up the world to anyone with a PC. The implications for the IT department and the security of the business can be huge. This is the particular challenge with email or the Web; you can’t turn those applications off. You have to have the Internet open for your business.”

Kost agrees that locking employees down is not really an option. “Twenty-odd years ago, when employees came to work, they used the telephone on their desk to make some personal calls during the day, check in on the kids, make a dentist appointment, make a reservation. The modern workforce now are doing those same things with Facebook or Twitter, or other social media and communication tools and keeping up with all those people that in another age they might have called. Users coming to the office expect to use these tools, just like the phone used to be.”

But complete openness is surely not an option either. The 2nd Annual Network Forensics Survey published in October by Solera Networks found that visits to malicious Web sites and instant messaging (IM) use was particularly worrisome, with 96 percent feeling threatened by employee Web activity, and 71 percent fearing that IM poses security threats.
IT Cannot Say No

Employees today have high expectations when it comes to messaging technologies. “People are used to running their own networks at home,” observes Kost. “So, when IT says ‘no’ employees don’t understand why. ‘I can do this at home, why can’t I do it at work?’ IT is finding that ‘no’ doesn’t work. There is an employee moral, cultural thing, which some companies might say, big deal but to attract and retain talent that is a factor. Some of the research we did showed people are willing to make a trade off in compensation for some of this work flexibility, use of tools and applications.”

The Cisco Connected World Report, points to the expectation that employees demand to be able to access information from anywhere, revealing three of every five employees (60 percent) believe it is unnecessary to be in the office to be productive.

This cross of personal and business information and tools can quickly get sticky. As Schlampp points out, “If I bring my iPhone into the office, and I pick up the corporate Wi-Fi, I am sending email, etc. All that email is now going through the corporate network. It could be my Gmail account or it could be my Exchange account. All that data is flowing through the corporate network and I have an identity there. Then I hop onto my laptop, and I have the same identity. All of a sudden, you have a single person using multiple identities on multiple IP addresses and that can become a big problem for security. That is where having the ability to see everything and replay everything and correlate that data is essential.”

Kost says that in most organizations the number one concern is the fine line between company data and user data and how it is stored on that one device. “A policy must be in place that says the company retains the right, if it must, to wipe the device. You need some policy in place that says if you bring your own device in with music that is yours, contacts, etc, that the company can take some security actions, such as monitoring and that some of your personal activity might be captured. It is important that people know that their expectation of privacy might be changed because you are getting onto the network at work. The employee needs to know that backing up personal data is their responsibility and that wiping the device is a possibility. So there is an employee, employer understanding that needs to happen, or a code of ethics or device policy needs to exist independent of the technologies and that can be different in different parts of the world that have different privacy expectations.”

Moyse agrees, noting, “What about the content that is on these machines? At home, I may download iTunes. If I copy that, I have paid for the license, I am legitimately able to use that music on this machine. If I email one of those tracks to someone at work, or put it on a USB key or download off an illegal site at work or if there is an unlicensed music track on a work PC, the Directors of that business are liable for the license. Under UK law, even if the user installed it, you can’t delegate responsibility or liability to the user. A company acceptable use policy says you are not allow to have contents like that, you can fire the employee, you can take action, should the music publisher find out about the download, but it is still the company they are coming after.”

“The challenge we are getting into now is a lot of these sites, for example Twitter or Facebook, you can find a good business reason for using them,” adds Moyse. “Where do you draw the line? If you use it this way, it is beneficial to the company, if you use it that way, it can be dangerous.”

So what is IT to do? “It is easy to think of users as children—they want something, they take it. If they have a problem, they cry and they can’t always explain the problem,” says Borenstein. “It sounds kind of patronizing, but the truth is, if you conceptualize your users this way it can be a useful guide in how to deal with them. In this case, a child has a new toy, he loves his toy, do you tell him, ‘don’t use your toy’ or do you tell him how to change the batteries safely?”

With messaging technology and devices being driven into IT, instead of the former state of out from IT, how does IT get a handle on security? “From our perspective, on the security side, there is a new concept called ‘zero trust’ from Forrester,” says Schlampp. “This is their new framework for thinking about security. The title of it is great: No More Chewy Centers: The Zero Trust Model and they say we should think of the network security world as an M&M. You have this crunchy outer shell, where you kept out all the bad stuff, and inside it was tasty and you knew what it was and you could trust it. Well, no more chewy centers, because inside that M&M you now have all sorts of devices and people that you did not know about or were able to keep out before. But the reality is: We never really had the security that we perceived we did, turns out the chocolate was never that great anyway.”

Schlampp goes on to explain that we can’t treat network security like an M&M anymore. “Basically, you can’t trust anybody on your network, so you have to raise the level of the game of your network security team. Their job is not to just keep people out, their job is to actively monitor what is happening. So that if something bad starts to unfold, you have the tools and capabilities to understand what is happening and shut it down quickly.”

Today, IT is between a rock and a hard place. “IT administrators, the people who run IT departments are people who like to bring order out of chaos, they like control,” believes Borenstein. “Bless those people, I do not know what we would do without them, but I think they are going to have to let go of some of this. The question to ask is not, can they keep these devices out, because there is an easy answer, which is no, instead it is how can we manage the flow of information into and around these devices, how can they make them more secure? There are ways to do that.” Borenstein goes on to say that Mimecast is integrating corporate email with BlackBerry devices so both can be archived and support secure communications. “We are hoping to have that before long for other devices too. The message we would like to give employees is sure, use an iPhone, use a BlackBerry, but run this software so that mail is handled more securely.”

Kost warns that a whole new class of device is imminently expected, as he notes that according to Gartner just under 20 million tablets will ship this year and next year 55 million will ship. “These may or may not replace the laptop, but millions and millions of these devices are going to be out there,” he says.

IT organizations are going to need to rely on the technology more than ever before believes Moyse. “We are going to need to put protection into place that does not hinder the user. A lot of the products now consistently use pop-ups asking the user, do you really want to do this? Is this secure? We are imposing too much on the user. Customers want the best protection they can get, as simply as you can get it, and as cost-effectively as you can get it. There is a great opportunity for the industry if we get this right.”

By Stephanie Jordan

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Instant Messaging Challenge in the Businesses.

One of the common threads in the organizations that I’ve worked with in the last decade or so is a near ubiquitous use of IM, usually AOL’s IM client. Regardless of the publisher, the entire staff seemed to be on AIM, and it proved to be a useful means of asking a quick question or sending out an urgent message. IM was also useful to figure out if someone was in the office before you spent a couple of hours trying to track them down on the phone.

The value of instant messaging isn’t lost on corporations of all sizes, but in many companies you can’t just download a copy of Skype, AIM, Yahoo IM and start using it. Even assuming you have the ability to install software on your computer or smartphone, you have to do it in a way that meets the approval of the IT department. That approval should only come if your instant messaging doesn’t create a security or compliance hole. Chances are, if it’s a widely available free IM client, it does.

Fortunately for the companies that need them, there are corporate versions of IM clients. One of the best known is Microsoft’s Office Communicator. But Communicator shares a problem with most of the other corporate IM solutions – it requires a specific environment to work, in this case, Microsoft Windows. This may be fine if every device on your network is a Windows device, but what happens if you have an iPhone or a BlackBerry? Basically, you’re out of luck, just as you are if you’re using Linux or a Mac.

What many enterprises need in reality is a means of instant messaging that’s secure, auditable, compliant and that works on nearly any platform out there. I finally found such an IM client when a friend sent me a press release telling about Palringo. At first look, it seemed almost too good to be true. The software is available for the top three desktop operating systems, as well as for every mobile phone out there. It doesn’t even require a smartphone – something as simple as a Motorola RAZR with Java will run the client.

While Palringo isn’t the slickest interface in the world, it does connect with other users on the same Palringo network, as well as with other IM systems including AIM, MSN, Google and Yahoo, ICQ and a number of others. There’s more than just text messaging here. You can also send photos and use your phone (or computer) like a walkie-talkie.

Implementing a push-to-talk service on devices and networks that don’t support it took some doing. Palringo accomplished it by having you press a button and then recording your voice. Once you release the button, your recorded voice is sent to the person on the other end. While there is some latency involved, as you’d imagine, it works well, and it’s much better than not having a solution, which is the choice for many smartphone users.

The enterprise version of Palringo lets you archive messages for use in compliance monitoring and e-discovery. The Palringo client will even archive messages that are passed between it and non-Palringo messaging systems, so if you use the client to chat with someone using AIM, the conversation is stored. As you’d expect, the communications within Palringo are encrypted so attempts to intercept voice, text or photo messages won’t work. There’s a free version of the Palringo client for virtually any known platform on the Palringo website. The enterprise version costs money, but it does more, and it’s completely customizable.

While the Palringo software doesn’t support video, it’s still the best enterprise-class instant messaging I’ve run across. The fact that it’s platform-independent provides the kind of flexibility that companies have needed, but haven’t found until now.

Source:Enterprise Applications | Blog Post | Wayne Rash

Is Your Instant Messenger Secure?

As data security becomes more and more necessary, many businesses are realizing that instant messenger security is no longer an option. Small businesses are even shifting to secure instant messaging as prices are dropping dramatically.

Old way: Public IM

Many businesses still use free, public instant messengers like ICQ, Skype, AOL IM for day-to-day communications. This makes sense: employees are already familiar with the technology and interface, and it's hard to beat a free service.

But employees often spend time chatting with friends and family, so companies suffer from productivity losses in this scenario.

What about the security risks? Hackers can easily send files containing viruses, impersonate employees, or just ask for any data. This is becoming more and more common as attackers are getting smarter about what companies use what technologies for communication.

New way: enterprise instant messaging

Companies large and small are now reaching for business instant messaging tools that they can control. And costs are plummeting: for example, one award winning enterprise instant messenger is just a few dollars per employee per month (http//

These tools provide considerable instant messenger security by simply limiting who employees can talk to and by scanning files that have been transferred for viruses.


With PCI compliance quickly becoming more and more of an issue, companies are looking at more than how software handles data; but also how
Instant messenger
employees handle data as well. Instant messenger security is more of an issue than even now that companies rely on this technology for day-to-day communication.

With inexpensive easy-to-implement solutions available, small and large businesses are reaching for enterprise solutions for instant messenger security.

By: Justyn Hornor

Useful Tips for AIM Messenger

1. AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) is an IM (Instant Messaging) client that people the world over use to communicate with friends, family and colleagues. If you've used this IM for a length of time, you have likely learned a few tips and tricks that have helped you get the most out of the AIM service. However, there may be a few things you missed that you'll be glad to learn.

Never Appear Idle Again

2. If you would like never to be listed as idle, right-click on the AIM icon in your system tray and click "Preferences." Select "Privacy" and uncheck the box that says " long I've been idle." This allows you to be seen by others as online always, and never idle.

Monitor Log On/Log Off Times
3. If you want to know when a buddy is logging on and logging off, but do not have time to be at your computer, you can activate a timestamp that will give you the exact times that buddy logged on and off. To do so, right-click on the AIM icon in your system tray and select "Preferences." Select "IM/Chat" and check the box that says "Always view timestamp." On your buddy list, double-click the name of the buddy you want to monitor. This will open an instant messaging window. Minimize the window and go about your business. When you come back to your computer later, you will see the times your buddy logged on and off.

Eliminate 1024 Character Limitation
4. AIM limits instant messages to 1024 characters. If you want to send anything longer, you must send a string of messages, each no more than 1024 characters. To eliminate this problem, you must direct connect to your buddy. To do so, click the "Connect to Send IM" icon in the toolbar of the IM window. When you are directly connected, there is no longer a 1024 character limit.

By David Paige, eHow Contributor

LAN Instant Messaging Software - LAN Messenger

LAN Messenger is an instant messaging software for home or office users that can be very useful for your work. LAN chats allow you to commu...