General discussion

Locked

IM on Company Networks

By rmccon ·
My CIO wants me to install both MSN and ICQ on our network for each user. I do not think that this is a good idea for security reasons.

Can anyone help me out, I want to know what kind of security holes these programs have. What harm can they do to the network, if any?
Can people hack into a machine through any of the information sent out by IM's?

Am I being paranoid, or is there a real security threat.

We are running a Win NT 4.0 Server, with msproxy 2.0, and Win2k clients.

Thanks

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

7 total posts (Page 1 of 1)  
| Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

IM on Company Networks

by ferris_bewley In reply to IM on Company Networks

I would not reccommend the use of IM's on a network, even through a firewall. Even running the most secure OS, will not guarantee to be impenentrable. Why add another possible hole?

there is also another aspect of IM that you boss needs to consider... what ever is said is not gone when you close the IM window.
you may want to read this article
http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2778766,00.html

Hope it helps

Collapse -

IM on Company Networks

by rmccon In reply to IM on Company Networks

Poster rated this answer

Collapse -

IM on Company Networks

by phil.hall In reply to IM on Company Networks

Let me stress this, ***ANY*** third-party application is potentially vulnerable, exploitable, and therefore can open your system (or the system it's loaded on) to root attack and compromise.

Three words for your boss' request: just say no.

Best case scenario: have some in-house developers write a small application that does the same thing, only internally, and doesn't go outside at all. Then he gets what he wants, and you get the protection you require. Is that a simple solution? No, but it is superior to his.

Security must be king.

Collapse -

IM on Company Networks

by rmccon In reply to IM on Company Networks

Poster rated this answer

Collapse -

IM on Company Networks

by wbrisendine In reply to IM on Company Networks

I am one of our company's system adminstrators. Just recently did we decide not to install IM, ICQ, or MSN chat utilities on our network.

Depending on which one is used, the software can transform itself into a high performance virus replicator (attachments). You cannot backup or create an audit trail for transactions that happen over IM and therefore cannot protect the company. Most company's would like to protect their transactional information and AOL IM bypasses all of the tools usedto do so. Additionally, most of the IM traffic is non-business related and represents a distraction to the user's job.

My Company feels that the best method for electronic business communications is E-mail. It is backed up, it is scanned for viruses (which our company catches on average around 10 to 15 per day at a minimum) and it is reliable. I would recommend that you recommend that means of communication for your comapny. It not only protects your customers but helps your companies productivity.

If it comes down to an install, I would highly recommend using AOL's AIM Express. There is no download and no installation required. It is all html! Just search for AIM Express at MSN.com

Good Luck!

Collapse -

IM on Company Networks

by rmccon In reply to IM on Company Networks

Poster rated this answer

Collapse -

IM on Company Networks

by rmccon In reply to IM on Company Networks

This question was closed by the author

Back to Windows Forum
7 total posts (Page 1 of 1)  

Related Discussions

Related Forums