In what may be an interesting trend for the year, leading security firm Symantec has signed a definitive agreement to acquire IMlogic, a market leader in enterprise software for instant messaging (IM).
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In essence, IMlogic's technology is used to control and secure IM networks while ensuring compliance with regulatory and corporate governance policies. The acquisition is expected to close shortly after receiving customary regulatory approvals.
"Real-time communication solutions like instant messaging are powerful collaboration tools that create a new attack vector for threats to enter an enterprise network and new forms of digital communication with the same government, legal, and business requirements to retain and retrieve as email," says Enrique Salem, senior vice-president of security products and solutions, Symantec.
"With the best-of-breed instant messaging management and compliance software from IMlogic, Symantec will be the first and only vendor to offer a complete security and archiving solution to help customers manage all their messaging requirements."
This is a smart move by Symantec. Throughout 2005, companies recognised the value of IM products, which are rapidly moving out of the category of simple text and file serving services and are now part and parcel of unified messaging services and voice over IP (VoIP) solutions.
The apparent benefits of such versatility and adaptability are sadly not just recognised by enterprises; the black hat community sees potential in using IM as a vehicle for malicious threats leveraging global IM directories.
IM products from security specialists could have a competitive edge; this will likely be only the first such move in 2006.