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Akonix Secures IM From Afar

Akonix has launched a remote user agent providing comprehensive IM security and logging capabilities for mobile workforces, the company said today.

The San Diego-based security solutions firm says its L7 Remote User Agent is the first IM security tool that enables remote workers to meet the same security requirements as those logged onto corporate networks from the office.

Remote workers using public IM not connected to the corporate network are often left exposing organizations to higher risks of IM-borne viruses or malware attacks, David Jaros, Akonix director of product marketing, said.

"Employees accessing connections at the local coffee shop don't get the same level of protection as onsite staff," Jaros said. "It leaves businesses open to outside vulnerabilities."

In addition, remote users can also disadvantage a company network when it comes to compliance with federal regulatory requirements.

"As the mobile workforce continues to grow, so do the security and compliance threats that laptops and other mobile devices bring to corporate networks. As the only provider to address IM security and compliance needs for remote workers, Akonix continues to lead the industry in unmatched IM security innovation," Francis Costello, CTO at Akonix, said in a statement.

Akonix, an early entrant in the IM enterprise-class security solutions game, says its new remote user agent allows organizations the comfort and security to have employees working offsite, providing the same IM security and compliance protection as users connected to the corporate network.

A July 2005 survey conducted by Quality Resource Associates reported 89 percent of IT desktop managers said remote and mobile endpoints make it harder to remain compliant with IT, financial, regulatory or security policies.

However, when deployed on an employee's laptop, the L7 Remote User Agent can transparently monitor IM use and ensure IM activity is secured and logged by Akonix L7 Enterprise suite, minimizing risks of attack or non-compliance through unsecured IM access, Jaros said.

"Remote working brings an entirely new challenge to the security industry, with today's enterprises struggling to ensure employees on and off the corporate network are safe and protected," Matthew Anderson, an analyst at Radicati Group, said.

In addition, the Akonix Security Center has tracked more than 200 separate IM attacks on public networks in 2005. The financial implication of being hit by a virus can be severe.

IM for business communications is widely considered an official form of electronic communication and is subject to the same corporate policies and regulatory requirements applicable to e-mail.

"Working closely with our customers and partners, Akonix ensures that enterprises have the tools required to enable safe, productive use of IM for business critical needs," said Costello.

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