1,700% Increase in Instant Messaging Threats  
     
  Greetings, NSDCAR members!  
     
 

Just when you finally got a good antivirus program, a good personal firewall program, and a spyware prevention solution, it turns out that the fastest growing threat on the Internet is now Instant Messaging, or IM.

Gone are the days when you could just use any brand of instant messaging and be comfortable knowing that it was not dangerous, like email and downloads are.

A recent TechTarget article cites statistics from IMLogic, a secure instant messaging vendor, in which a recognized 1700 per cent increase in instant messaging threats has occurred over the past year, and, according to experts, it's growing still.  AIM and MSN are the top targets, of course, with Yahoo and standard Internet Relay Chat (IRC) not far behind.

So, if you (or your kids) use instant messaging, it's time to pay attention to the threats and necessary preventions, to keep your data safe.

There are many vendors of secure instant messaging products, and many antivirus software vendors incorporate some instant messaging protection in their product "suites".

Are you protected?  Is it really necessary to "chat" with people over the internet?  If you do use instant messaging, do you log the conversations?  If you're using instant messaging in the workplace, is it permitted, or contrary to your company's IT policy?  If it's permitted in the workplace, are the necessary logging and archiving of messages being done, to protect against liability?

Like many new technologies, the 'hard questions' about instant messaging often are not asked until it's too late.  The value of quick communication pales considerably when you consider that without proper logging and archiving of instant messages, you have no control over what your employees may be saying or sending through instant messaging.  Some IM clients even allow file transfers, which means that someone in your organization, if IM is not properly secured, could be sending your data, prospect lists, business plans, banking information, or other essential data out your door, without you ever knowing it, or being able to detect it, or most important of all, being able to stop it.  And now, the content of INcoming messages may harbor internet worms, trojan horse malware, viruses, and other destructive content.

Start today to put that cart back behind the horse, where it belongs... secure any instant messaging technologies you're using, or stop using them in your business environment until you secure and monitor any potential misuse.

To access the IMLogic study, click: