Check Point Integrity IM Security
Strengths: Works with virtually any instant messaging client
Weaknesses: Not much
Verdict: Great endpoint security product that tackles IM well
Part of the very popular endpoint security application developed by ZoneLabs, Check Point Integrity IM Security is billed as a solution that keeps instant messaging conversations private and secure, regardless of the IM service used.
The product filters, blocks and analyses network traffic. It not only covers popular IM applications including ICQ, IRC, AOL, MSN and Yahoo!, but also caters for third-party clients such as Trillian. We liked the solution's client-agnostic nature, which would be ideal for heterogeneous environments.
How instant messaging is used in the organization can be defined by the policies set by the administrators. Integrity is the mechanism by which those policies are enforced.
Installation is pretty simple to achieve and we were up and running in no time at all.
The product works in a couple of ways. First, it protects the computer by blocking incoming dangerous invalid messages, buffer overflow attacks, unsafe scripts and either all URLs or only executable URLs. This can help protect against social engineering attacks where a hacker sends a malware link to an unsuspecting user.
The product also encrypts messages between two clients running the software to prevent messages from being snooped on. Check Point IM Security can be configured to block spim (spam over instant messaging).
Administrators can also centrally configure access controls to shut down IM access per IM service or user in real time, as situations dictate. Furthermore, they can block or enable the audio and video features of instant messaging and file transfer per file type.
We liked the reporting features of the package. We got some real insight into how people were using instant messaging, who uses it the most, security events, what features (audio, video, file transfer etc) were being used and what services, clients and client versions were particularly popular within an organisation.
Overall, Check Point's offering is probably one of the better endpoint applications that can satisfactorily control the use and dictate the policy of instant messaging within the corporate environment.