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Logging Service Secures IM

Omnipod's latest hosted version offers virus scanning and alerts
Omnipod Inc. has unveiled Professional Online Desktop 3.5, the latest version of its instant-messaging logging service that helps companies secure their IM communications against hackers. New functions include enhanced virus scanning, file quarantine, and administrative alerts for all infected file-transmit attempts.

Viruses are attacking IM at the same rate as E-mail, and that has IM providers scrambling for protection, says Sara Radicati, analyst and founder of IT security advisory firm Radicati Group. But, she says, IM is harder to protect than E-mail because it's more immediate, and infected files are harder to catch.

IM providers America Online, Microsoft, and Yahoo are building in security themselves or partnering with dominant security vendors, such as McAfee, RSA Security, and Symantec. Other security vendors, including Akonix, IMlogic, and IM-Age Software, already log IM traffic and apply customer-directed policies. Omnipod says it will partner with Akonix to offer its logging service.

"The Omnipod hosted approach is more easily interjected in real time," Radicati says. "It's accessible, and the cost is reasonable." Omnipod charges $5 per user license per month for its service. Still, some customers will see a downside. Says Radicati, "People worry about messages going through a host," since anyone with access to the host could gain access to E-mail messages.

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