Second Life has launched a standalone firewall, boosting the number of possible business uses of the service.
Organisations - including the US Army, Unilever and Accenture - have used the virtual world service for recruitment and training. The secure firewall means companies will be able to use it for confidential meetings, information sharing and exercises.
Linden Lab, owners of Second Life, said in its official blog: "Although Second Life is a safe place to work, many large enterprises and government institutions require complete control over their IT systems due to privacy and confidentiality concerns."
The stand-alone firewall is in the alpha stage of development, with general availability expected later this year. IBM, Naval Undersea Warfare Centre and Intel are helping to test the new software.
The firewall is a server completely disconnected from the main Second Life environment. The company is looking for organisations interested in helping to test the service during the beta phase of development - visit the Second Life website and choose the "I'm interested in running Second Life behind my firewall" option in the pull down menu.