The world today can be said to be a global village. This is because it does not matter where you are of you want to communicate to anyone in the other continent it is easy and fast. For our organizations and businesses to thrive today there have to be communication from clients to the organization and vice versa. Instant messaging has been one contributing factor to this communications and it has several advantages that have made almost all the companies to choose the service. Despite of the advantages we also have some of the threats towards this instant messaging and also what may be done to ensure that the threats are reduced if not eliminated. In my essay below, I am going to discuss these threats and the second part how to eliminate these threats in the organization.
The threats to instant messaging
There are multiple viruses and worms which affects instant messaging
In the world today of the modern society there are over fifty types of viruses and also worms. In the six months which have passed there are over nineteen types of viruses which are highly associated with the instant messaging applications. These viruses are mostly receive particularly when the files are being transferred from one computer to the other one. These viruses are highly able to pass through the anti-virus programs which give security. The clients of the public instant messaging have also at risks which are highly publicized. These instant messaging’s are prone to spreading of viruses to the different systems and also lead to the computers not being able to carry on some tasks. (Brander, E. 2000, December)
There is also the threat of theft of identity and also authentication may be spoofed
The instant messaging systems that re public mostly allow the users to be able to create identities which are anonymous. These identities are not usually mapped in the electronic mail addresses. Identifications also may be created at any time even if these identities have no individuals who own then. This act of spoofing brings new risks where by these multiple identifications can be used for malicious acts which may not be in the control of the information control teams of the enterprise.
There is also the threat whereby the firewall of the enterprise may be tunneled
Instant messaging users may be able to get to ways in which they are going to tunnel towards the firewalls of the enterprise which may end up creating risks to it. A number of instant messaging services have ports which are adequately publicized example we can talk of yahoo which is 5050 and also MSN which is 1863. The users of instant messaging can be able to use well any port which is in this firewall system which include the other application. These clients may use peer to peer links or the ports which are negotiated randomly. (Mache, N., & Kovacs, E. 2001)
There is also the threat of spamming
According to instant messaging reports, five percent to eight percent of all the information which has been sent through IM is spam. It is important to note that the spam in instant messaging is known as spim. The spam to an enterprise is not worth is and it is more disturbing than the email spams, this is because there are usually pop ups which creates interruptions o the users.
There is also the threat of leakage of data security from the enterprise.
There may be also content which is leaving the enterprise which has not been well monitored by the department of information technology. This brings about a risk which may be termed as being both legal and also competitive. When transferring files using instant messaging is a way in which may be used to send data which is highly not traceable by any department. This content which is not well filtered makes the possibilities for data bleaches in the company very possible and also it is not possible to come up with policies which are going to come up with policies that will be used to curb this. (Leskovec, J., & Horvitz, E. 2008, April)
How make sure that IM is protected and there is security and prevention of loss of data
It’s important that instant messaging is a means which is here to stay so organizations should embrace and learn how to secure it appropriately. Due to the growth and increase of internet usage, there have been increase need for more communications which is faster, reliable and secure.
When were are talking of instant messaging the most of the systems are always based on architectures which are client servers. The modern day instant messaging have been created to make sure that the data which is sent is more secure. They are trying to come up with systems which have basic encryptions to enhance better security. (Palin, L. 2002, November)
In order to control some of the security features of the instant messaging the organizations have been allowing scripting. The following are the ways in which organizations and companies can ensure that their instant messaging is secure:
The organization should implement rules whereby there will be strict rules which will be used for the virus. This is where they have to ensure that there are anti-virus software’s which are installed in their computers. These software should be very effective when it comes to the issues of fighting worms and Trojans which may be spread through instant messaging. The organizations must also come up with updates which are automated so that incase the virus has become more effective than it should be able to fight it on time.
The organizations also should come up with firewalls. This is a very effective mean which the company may use when controlling instant messaging. This is where by the organization is going to add another new layer when trying to control the instant messaging which is public. The firewalls work such that they are able to deny some information from leaving of entering the system and also they apply the allow rule. Firewalls are ruled which are preinstalled in the system and in case anyone wants to configure then, then they first have to access the internet.
The organizations should also look at the issue of deploying instant messaging servers which are corporate. This is the most important because it has very special features which have strong rules when it comes to the certification and the authentication to the directory infrastructure.
The company can also secure itself such that in case they decide to choose instant messaging service providers who are external, they have to make sure that the clients of IM are only able access the servers which are designated and not all the servers and ports. To avoid this, then the servers are not supposed to be listed to the public.
Also the organization should make sure that there are audits conducted. These audit reports should be submitted to the information technology experts after a short period of time which is regular for auditing. In case there is an issue then it should be handled with urgency.
The organization should also ensure that there instant messaging is updated. This updating ensures that the information is up to date and also compliance with the new rules and regulations which are governing it. It also ensures that the features which the clients see are updated not just the old ones.
The organization should also make sure that there are policies. These policies should be used when governing instant messaging. When the policies are violated, it will make sure that there is an immediate action which is taken to the person who has violated it.
The employees also have to be well educated. This is where the employees are well informed about instant messaging. The dos and don’ts which they have to operate under. I personally feel that this is the first step which the organization have to take and what they should make sure they operate under.
Brander, E. (2000, December). Interaction and outer action: instant messaging in action. In Proceedings of the 2000 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp. 79-88). ACM
Palin, L. (2002, November). Instant messaging in teen life. In Proceedings of the 2002 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp. 21-30). ACM.
Leonhard, A. (2004). How Americans use instant messaging.
Leskovec, J., & Horvitz, E. (2008, April). Planetary-scale views on a large instant-messaging network. In Proceedings of the 17th international conference on World Wide Web (pp. 915-924). ACM.
Mache, N., & Kovacs, E. (2001). U.S. Patent Application No. 09/727,182.