TUCOWS ARTICLE

How to Create a Secure Instant Messaging Network

Public instant message programs used in a corporate environment pose a real security threat. Read about a new solution to this growing problem - Famatech Radmin Communication Server.
Published: Dec 15, 2005
Author: Famatech

This question submitted by Ralph Bailey, Ida Thompson, John Katz, Phillip W. Edwards, Patricia Alberts and numerous others

Instant Messaging

The world is developing faster and faster. Only a few years ago we were enthusiastic about electronic mail and all the conveniences it brought. Now instant messaging has become as important in everyday business as e-mail. And all of these useful services not only bring conveniences, but also threats.

In case of e-mail service there is the constant threat of having to deal with viruses, spam, data hijacking and other threats. Instant messaging, by comparison, is a much newer service for both home and corporate users. It is developing quickly and covering new market niches with new users.

A Corporate IM Network: Why?

One of the issues in this new technology is that public instant messengers are entering corporate environments. Here, they pose a new class of IT security challenges for today's business. These security threats are a result of unmanaged, uncontrolled instant messaging systems, and their impact is growing. In fact, IM threats increased ten times from 2004, with more than a thousand reported incidents during the first half of 2005.

Without the right security policy for instant messaging, companies that spend hundreds of thousands of dollars protecting e-mail and corporate networks leave a back door open to a host of security threats.

The security challenges can be subdivided in two groups: external and internal threats. External threats have a direct channel into the organization for IM virus and worm attacks, Trojan horse programs, malware exploits and IM Spam (aka SpIM). Internal security challenges present data and network corruption, increased business risks like lost intellectual property, exposure of proprietary information and lost competitive advantage.

With almost a hundred million business people using public IMs as an enterprise class solution, the number of security concerns for IT managers has increased. To reduce the risks which result from using public IM networks, Famatech International Corporation has created an effective solution for secure instant messaging. This solution is specifically designed to meet the requests of corporate IT security.

A Solution From Famatech

One of the main risks is hijacking of the confidential transmitted data. Experts at Famatech, who created Radmin Communication Server, approached this issue from two directions. First, unlike public instant messaging products, the new corporate solution doesn't use external servers so the transmitted data never leaves the corporate network. All transmitted data is strongly encrypted with up to 2048-bit key size, which is virtually impossible to decipher.

Another risk is that traditional instant messenger is a perfect channel for viruses or spyware. Given the high level of attention around securing e-mail and web systems, hackers are increasingly targeting unprotected and highly populated IM channels to introduce viruses. Given that the number of users is increasing, a damaging virus could be instantly spread within an enterprise. Radmin Communication Server has been designed to ban any possible virus activity in the IM network. There is no common file transfer, there's no common buddy list - thus viruses do not have a way to migrate.

There's still another issue with corporate security and that issue is event logging. Simple logging with all text sessions is switched on by default by most public instant message products. In fact, the log files are stored on a local computer so a user usually considers this data harmless. Systems administrators in any corporate environment may have access to all files from all computers in the network. Imagine the consequences if an assistant administrator reads a log file of a conversation between VPs. There should be no logging at all. There's no way a user can turn it on in the Radmin solution - this feature just doesn't exist.

There are many other issues concerning the security and usability of the corporate instant messengers - spammers, private talks and entertainment services. They reduce security and the effectiveness of work. The future is right here, and this is the right time for modern business to get rid of public IMs. The secure instant messaging system has arrived.

Visit The Famatech Web Site!


About The Authors...

Famatech, founded in 1999, is the developer of the award-winning Radmin (Remote Administrator), the remote control software used on millions of desktops around the World. Famatech's Remote Control Technology enables technicians to deliver optimal network management, remote support and communication services. The company strategy is to provide maximum assistance to corporate helpdesks, system integrators and value added resellers specializing in supporting network services.

Remote support and communications software has always been Famatech's primary focus. Radmin software is consistently ranked by professionals as the best program of its kind on the market. Radmin solutions are trusted by the most demanding companies as well as major corporations, hospitals, military and governments.

Partnering is one of Famatech's key successful marketing strategies. Partnering makes it possible for everyone to win, including the customer. The company works closely with software distributors, value added resellers, systems integrators, helpdesks and service providers. The partners of the company range from major software distributors having hundreds of their own resellers to small businesses providing IT consultancy or helpdesk services.

Famatech currently has resellers in over 90 countries. Multilingual support in Radmin solutions has been designed so that the partners can distribute packages in local languages.


I'd like to thank Ralph Bailey, Ida Thompson, John Katz, Phillip W. Edwards, Patricia Alberts and numerous others for asking this question.

If you have a question on how to do something on the computer you can submit it via e-mail by clicking HERE. You will not receive a reply, but all topics will be considered.


About Famatech

\ Famatech, founded in 1999, is the developer of the award-winning Radmin (Remote Administrator), the remote control software used on millions of desktops around the World. Famatech's Remote Control Technology enables technicians to deliver optimal network management, remote support and communication services. The company strategy is to provide maximum assistance to corporate helpdesks, system integrators and value added resellers specializing in supporting network services.

Remote support and communications software has always been Famatech's primary focus. Radmin software is consistently ranked by professionals as the best program of its kind on the market. Radmin solutions are trusted by the most demanding companies as well as major corporations, hospitals, military and governments.

Partnering is one of Famatech's key successful marketing strategies. Partnering makes it possible for everyone to win, including the customer. The company works closely with software distributors, value added resellers, systems integrators, helpdesks and service providers. The partners of the company range from major software distributors having hundreds of their own resellers to small businesses providing IT consultancy or helpdesk services.

Famatech currently has resellers in over 90 countries. Multilingual support in Radmin solutions has been designed so that the partners can distribute packages in local languages.

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