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Symantec hits send on IM security

IM Manager 8.0 promises to seal off IM chat and to help companies with compliance.

Symantec introduced software on Monday to help companies secure communications over public instant-messaging services and over in-house IM networks. Symantec IM Manager 8.0, available in April, enables owners to set policy controls on file sharing, audio and voice over Internet Protocol use, among other functions. It will work with AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger as well as with a range of enterprise IM software. Also included in the product are archiving and management tools to help with compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other regulations.

The pace of IM attacks picked up in 2005, according to a study by FaceTime Communications. And as IM use in workplaces grows, security companies are turning their attention to it. In January, Symantec bought IM security provider IMlogic, and IM Manager 8.0 uses technology picked up in that acquisition, the Cupertino, Calif., company said.