Archive for category Public IM
Today’s post comes from Norv Leong, Director of Product Marketing at Actiance.
Star Trek’s popularity has spanned several generations. The captains’ names have changed (Kirk, Picard, Archer) through the years, but the fans’ devotion and passion have continued to chug along. The show was premised on federations and how many beings of different colors, shapes, and beliefs could still get along (save for the Klingons).
The same concept holds for federation when it comes to real-time communications. Gone are the days of closed networks where you can only talk or IM with folks in your own network (remember AOL back in the day?). Now, Yahoo! Messenger users can IM with Windows Live Messenger (WLM) users, and unified communications platforms like Microsoft Lync can federate with public IM networks, such as the aforementioned Yahoo.
This is great news for inter-planetary “keeping in touch,” but it also raises issues about security. Safely connecting to these public IM networks is of paramount concern for folks in charge of IT security. The old adage, “you never know who’s lurking out there,” couldn’t be more true. Tasked with ensuring that the security of their enterprise communications and collaboration platforms are airtight, great pains have to be taken to make sure that opening up to public IM networks doesn’t flood the corporate network with malware, worms, viruses, and the like.
This is where granular federation controls come into play. Being able to control which external parties can communicate with a given organization’s employees, groups, or networks is huge. Furthermore, it could very well be that a large enterprise has a regulatory duty to separate its business functions or divisions. Actiance Vantage enables organizations to control communications such that employees are blocked from contacting anyone (including external users) who might be on a blacklist.
This reduces the chances of malware infection, data leakage, and the potential to interact with another person outside of an ethical or regulatory boundary. It also means that you won’t be at the mercy of another organization’s security policy. Freedom to federate is great, but as Captain Kirk and his crew could attest to, you gotta be careful who you interact with because not everyone comes in peace.
“Get us out of here, Sulu! Warp factor 8!”
For those who already utilize tracking, monitoring and control solutions for IM and UC infrastructure, it can be a real blow when you find out that your solution isn’t keeping current, or doesn’t plan to in the future.
In this real-time world, ensuring that your solution maintains the security, management and compliance of these real-time solutions is key to ensuring the future of your business. So what happens when your selected solution doesn’t?
Take the announcement from Quest that Policy Authority for UC has come to end of life and end of support at the end of last year. The hard part for customers is going to be pulling the pieces back together. No doubt you’ve transitioned your entire organization onto a specific platform, now only to find that it’s not keeping up to date with industry changes, or your vendor plans to stop development.
What should you do in that situation?
First, you should identify the timing of the change. Do you have three months or 12 months? Understanding your timeline can help you prioritize your next steps.
The next step is identifying a new partner that you can work with. Here are a few things to look for:
- Customer churn: How many customers have recently left them to work with a different vendor? This can also be indicative of the type of support you may receive
- Product roadmap: Has it been a while since they’ve deployed a new version of their solution? Do they support capabilities like Group Chat? Are they compliant with Live Meeting? Do they support the new Microsoft Lync Server? What about IBM Sametime Advanced? Skype?
- Company’s primary focus: Is security merely a component of their product offerings? Or, is security, management and compliance for the new Internet their primary focus?
- Social media capabilities: Do they support the big three (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn)? What are the specific features for each they offer?
- Partners: Who do they work with to get their updates? Are they members of industry organizations? Do they partner with platforms so they are the most up to date with new product and feature rollouts?
Why not – if this affects you, join us on one of our webinars, and look at just how easy it is to move!
If there are any doubts in your mind or issues that arise, it’s important to take a closer look at your relationship with this partner and reconsider the engagement.
In this day and age, it’s too easy to miss one update and find your network compromised. It’s critical to partner with a company who will be dedicated to your organization’s safety and success in real time communications – and who makes it their entire business, so that you don’t have to.
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2010 marks my tenth year with FaceTime – and
I’ve seen some changes in those 10 years – no more so than in the Financial
Services sector, where Vantage, the product that I manage excels. Having a third party organization verify that
is exceedingly gratifying – and that’s what happened recently. At the SC Magazine Europe Awards in London,
Vantage was unveiled as the Best Security Solution for Financial Services.
Perhaps it’s the pedigree – Vantage is based
on the equally award winning IMAuditor, perhaps it’s the new features that we
rolled out recently (from support for Microsoft OCS CAC, to Group Chat support
and Skype). Maybe it’s the product
Ultimately, I think its that we absolutely
understand the requirements of financial institutions, their reliance on real
time communications, rigorous regulatory requirements and we do this alongside
our understanding of the real time collaborative internet.
Features such as real-time logging and policy for Microsoft Group Chat,
data leak prevention for file transfers, zero day worm protection, inline legal
disclaimers and a full 360 degree audit capability make Vantage uniquely
positioned in heavily regulated industries such as Financial Services.
Who am I kidding, of course it’s all due to the product management….
Brian Babin is Director of Product Management for FaceTime’s Vantage and
Insight products and celebrates his tenth year with the company in 2010
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The drive to extend collaboration outside of our own
network boundaries has never been so strong.
Whether our drivers are to save cost, a geographically challenged work
force, a diverse supply chain network or reduce time to market – we’re all
looking to collaborate and communicate with individuals who don’t necessarily
adhere to the same security, management and compliance controls that you have
on your network.
And we’re using a variety of tools, I hesitate to
admit to how many different applications I use to communicate, not just
internally here at FaceTime, but with suppliers around the world, our channel
and strategic partners, prospects and customers. It’s probably a good exercise actually to
think about that right now.
My real time communications tools:
- Microsoft OCS
- Microsoft Live Meeting
- IBM Lotus Sametime
- Lotus Sametime Unyte
- Cisco Webex
- Windows Live (MSN)
Wow. There’s a
wonder I ever get any work done with that little lot eh?
But I’m not unique.
It’s representative of the world in which we work now – that enterprise
deployed Unified Communications platforms, like OCS and Sametime are
co-existing alongside those Web 2.0 tools that I installed myself – because -
well because that’s how I communicate with different folks around the world.
The need to secure and manage the whole picture has
never been stronger either. The same risks apply in our 2.0 world as always did
in a 1.0 world – so whether your bugbear is inbound threats, outbound data
leakage and managing your errant employees – all these areas require
consideration. I guess the only problem
is that in a 2.0 real time world – the issue becomes apparent, well, in real
Compliance too affects real time communications. Regulatory bodies, from the SEC, FINRA, HIPAA
to the Financial Services Authority have all issued guidelines and rules on use
and retention of real time communications – they are, after all, simple
electronic communications, and subject to the same regulation – AND LEGISLATION
- that your email is.
If you want to take a look at just how much growth
there has been in the usage of real time communications tools and how prepared
the average organization is to deal with security, management and compliance
issues- take a look at the results of FaceTime’s fifth annual survey – and
compare it to what’s going on in your organization.
Today, we launched Vantage, the successor to
IMAuditor - farewell old friend, but our world has
moved well beyond pure IM and just auditing – Vantage heralds the new standard
for security, management and compliance for real time and Unified
Communications – giving you a vantage point, a view, visibility and control over all facets of real
time and unified communications and the individual tools and capabilities in
those platforms. Vantage also gives you a significant advantage – from managing
OCS CAC, to controlling federation, non registered employees, logging Sametime
announcements – and across the widest range of UC platforms and public IM
networks which now includes Skype.
take a look for yourself? – and bring your security, management and compliance
for unified communications up to the new standard.
Sarah Carter, who can also be reached on old fashioned email: email@example.com