A survey by security specialist Akonix Systems claims enterprises are failing to protect themselves against instant messaging (IM) threats.
While the majority of organisations have secured themselves against potential email threats, IM protection takes a lower priority, and has yet to reach some companies’ radar screens.
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In a poll of more than 100 enterprises, only 11% reported having IM protection in place, compared to 73% with email protection, while 50% of respondents said IM protection “hadn’t crossed their mind."
Akonix claims corporate IM attacks are on the rise, with the company’s security team tracking 62 IM-based attacks in November 2005, a 226% increase over the previous month. Globally, IM use has increased rapidly, with nearly 12 billion instant messages being sent every day, according to IDC.
Organisations have spent millions of dollars and working hours securing their email systems, but many have barely begun to address the rapidly growing threat of virus, worm or malicious code attack through their employees’ use of IM.
Although IM is still largely seen as a consumer technology, its effect on company security may soon be more effectively discussed as a potential risk to corporate assets and productivity.