IM security fears persist

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New research finds firms acknowledge business benefits but fear securitybreaches.

Over seventy per cent of UK firms are banning the use of public instant messaging clients in the workplace, despite three-quarters saying they understand the business benefits of the technology. According to new research released today.

The survey by enterprise IM vendor ProcessOne found that over half of corporate IT managers had concerns over sensitive information leaving the organisation through this channel. Yet only 12 per cent said they had visibility into this by maintaining an audit trail of public instant messages.

Just over one third of those surveyed said they banned use of public IM outright, while 21 per cent said they used a private IM system.

ProcessOne chief executive Mickael Remond said firms need to be flexible in their approach to IM. "The best solution is to find a way to allow employees to use whichever solution they are most comfortable with, while providing a way for businesses to enforce their IT policies to protect the organisation and ensure that audit trails are kept," he added.

The news comes a week after analyst firm IDC predicted that IM could overtake email by the end of 2010 as the preferred form of business communications.
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