alexa Instant Messaging vs. instant compromise
Psychiatry

Psychiatry

Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior

Author(s): OSullivan S

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For the estimated 200 million people who now use Instant Messaging (IM) at work, the security risk is rising sharply. IM was first introduced with text-only chatting capability, but now almost all providers allow users to exchange files, including via their mobile devices. The attraction of real-time communication has helped IM soar in popularity and to work its way quickly into the business world. But real-time communications also bring real risks to the workplace. For instance, most IM systems use basic client server architecture. Typically, unencrypted messages are sent from the initiator to the IM server to the recipient, and therefore pose a security risk. Employees are communicating with colleagues and customers, with no record of transactions, and potentially compromising corporate information. IM is also a conduit for new viruses and worms that can attack business applications and render IT systems useless. Yet, many IM users mistakenly believe there is no real danger associated with the tool and do not pay attention to the security risks. Instant Messaging (IM) was originally introduced with text-only chatting capability, but now virtually all providers – Yahoo! Messenger, America Online Instant Messenger, ICQ and MSN Messenger – allow users to exchange files, not only from their desktops but also via their mobile devices. Organizations beware.

This article was published in  Network Security and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior

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