Secure hosted instant messaging system unveiled

Firms are being offered an on-demand secure instant messaging system to help them take advantage of the increasing use of instant messaging in business.

Firms are being offered an on-demand secure instant messaging  system to help them take advantage of the increasing use of instant messaging in business.

Networker Web Access Client from Presence Networks is a browser-based instant messaging service that does not require the user to download desktop software, and protects companies from security breaches.

Webmail-based instant messaging accounts, from the likes of AOL and Yahoo, are inherently open to security breaches as they are based on peer-to-peer technology that transports data over the public internet, leaving users susceptible to hacking and malware.

Bob Tarzey, an analyst at Quocirca, said, "As an additional communications channel, instant messaging can deliver huge benefits to businesses if managed well, providing immediate contact between employees and the external organisations they deal with.

"To do this with appropriate levels of security and auditing, businesses need to standardise on an enterprise-class system that unifies instant messaging with other online communication channels rather than relying on freely available tools," he said.

The Networker Web Access Client provides a secure alternative to peer-to-peer instant messaging and also provides a full set of Networker features without needing to download software.

The instant messaging client is hosted on a dedicated central server that offers 128-bit encryption combined with an integrated anti-virus system, meaning that remote workers can communicate instantly and securely from any number of computer terminals.

With Networker technology, the public instant messaging gateway communicates with the Networker Server, which in turn communicates with the Networker Client.

At this point, the data passes through the Networker Server and the communication is cleansed and recorded, ensuring the highest level of security and eliminating direct peer-to-peer communications.

This means users of the Networker system can safely communicate with users of webmail-based instant messaging systems, along with others using Networker.

Networker Web Access Client starts at £40 per person per annum.

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