Symantec's MessageLabs managed security services arm has launched a new service designed to help customers use public instant messaging (IM) networks in a secure and auditable way.
The Instant Messaging Security Service enables security professionals to enforce acceptable usage policies, and mitigate any risk to corporate systems and data, the firm said.
Research conducted by MessageLabs suggests that one in every 78 URLs on IM today is malicious, up from a figure of one in every 200 URLs last year.
"IM is more immediate than email and more versatile than the telephone, but organisations increasingly forget its legacy as a consumer tool, and accept it and its benefits as a credible business tool," said Adrian Chamberlain, senior vice president of software-as-a-service at Symantec.
"The IM Security Service provides protection and control functionality to public IM services, making them viable enterprise tools with the necessary visibility and accountability for today's regulatory needs."
The service supports AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft's IM clients, offering detailed logging and reporting functionality, protection against known and unknown blended threats via URL filtering and anti-malware, and the ability to build policies, the company said.
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