Security fears shake up enterprise instant messaging

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Security problems associated with public instant messaging (IM) technology will force enterprises to ban employee use of such services and replace them with enterprise IM (EIM) applications.

According to market analysis from Frost & Sullivan, use of public IM throws up a host of security threats to enterprises. Moreover, with greater emphasis on compliance, it becomes even more necessary to archive and log all IM conversations for auditing purposes, the analyst firm warned.

Although free public IM is flourishing and, according to the research, will continue to grow for the next five years, EIM vendors are likely to break through the market by stepping up efforts to integrate various capabilities and educate end users on the benefits of EIM.

There is huge potential for EIM all over the world. Even though 90 per cent of enterprises in North America use some form of IM, the actual penetration of EIM products is only 10 per cent in the region, Frost & Sullivan said.

"The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region lags behind North America in terms of adoption by about 1.5 to 3 years while the Asia Pacific region is about 1 to 2 years behind EMEA," said Frost & Sullivan Research analyst S.V. Purushothaman.

"This provides immense scope for business development in these regions."

The analyst group said it expects EIM to receive "a shot in the arm" from regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that require enterprises to stringently monitor their communication processes.

www.frost.com

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