Symantec has unveiled a security tool for the instant messaging of clients.

According to the company, IMS.cloud scans messages and attachments for malware, blocks malicious URLs, protects organisations from data loss and logs messages for compliance purposes without the need for additional hardware and software.

Chris Christiansen, vice-president of security products and services at IDC, said: “Instant messaging in the workplace is becoming ubiquitous for both internal and external communications in organisations of every size.

“But this popularity is one reason why organisations are vulnerable to the risks that come with using desktop IM clients. Corporate IM needs the same high levels of malware protection and regulatory compliance required of email and web services. Cloud-based security services can provide such protection.”

Available as part of the Symantec.cloud service or individually, it offers malware protection using Symantec's Skeptic technology and meets regulatory compliance by logging message transcripts, while cloud-based archiving is available for organisations with more stringent compliance needs.

Tom Powledge, vice-president of product delivery at Symantec.cloud, said: “Instant messaging is becoming a popular tool for internal and external communications in organisations of every size.

“IMS.cloud takes the risk out of instant messenger so that companies can meet user demand for the latest technology while allowing a flexible and collaborative working environment anytime from anywhere.”