IM Security's Three Kings

The "Big Three" of instant messaging security are FaceTime, Akonix and Symantec, with its acquisition in 2006 of IMlogic. Here is a snapshot of each company:

FaceTime's Enterprise Edition and Internet Security Edition provide visibility, security and control for Web browsing, IM, P2P, Skype and Web conferencing. The company's software allows organizations to implement policies that detect, secure and manage real-time collaborative applications while preventing inbound malware threats, minimizing information leakage and controlling employee Internet use.

FaceTime integrates with Skype, Web conferencing platforms (Webex), public IM networks (AIM, Yahoo, MSN, GoogleTalk, ICQ and more), as well as with enterprise IM platforms and professional community networks (Microsoft, IBM, Antepo, Jabber, Parlano MindAlign, Reuters, Bloomberg, Communicator and PivotSolutions).

The company has been ranked number one in IM market share by IDC (a sister company to CSO's publisher) for four consecutive years.

Akonix's L7 Enterprise suite delivers IM policy management and enforcement, archiving, content scanning, reporting and protection for communications media such as instant messaging, online conferencing, VoIP and electronic fax.

Through business alliances and integration, Akonix supports enterprise IM platforms and professional community networks such as Reuters, Microsoft, IBM, Jabber and Bloomberg, as well as message archiving through EMC, HP, Symantec, Iron Mountain, Zantaz, Intradyn, C2C, Fortiva, Quest Software and others.

According to Gartner, Akonix has a large, installed base of clients with many "marquee" names, although it has lost some momentum compared with its chief rivals, IMlogic (Symantec) and FaceTime.

Symantec IM Manager 2007 manages, secures, logs and archives corporate IM traffic, with certified support for public and enterprise IM networks, including granular policy enforcement and security controls for files, audio, video, VoIP, application sharing and other real-time communication capabilities.

Symantec also offers integrated archiving and compliance for IM through its Enterprise Vault solution, as well as protection against viruses, blended threats and other vulnerabilities through Symantec Security Response.

As a large security vendor, Symantec has the deep pockets to continuously add support for the ever-growing number of IM threats, as well as the increasing number of IP-based messaging media, according to Maurene Caplan Grey, founder of Grey Consulting in Kent Lakes, N.Y.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

The 10 most powerful cybersecurity companies