Zone Labs Gains IMsecure Apps

Zone Labs Inc. has acquired IMsecure Corp.

Zone Labs Inc. has acquired IMsecure Corp., a small developer of security software for instant messaging applications, and will integrate IMsecures Desktop product into its Integrity enterprise firewall.

Zone Labs will also offer a stand-alone version of the IM product, called IMsecure Pro, for consumers, company officials said last week.

The officials said the acquisition and new offerings should give Zone Labs the ability to protect users engaged in the three most popular Internet activities: Web browsing, sending e-mail and exchanging instant messages. As IM has become more popular in the enterprise, IT departments have struggled to find a way to protect corporate networks from careless users.

Although IM has become more pervasive, the security savvy of users is low, said a Zone Labs spokesman, in San Francisco. That, combined with the security risks inherent in IM, can spell trouble for the enterprise.

IM is considered a major security risk for several reasons. For starters, it punches a hole in the corporate firewall, meaning all traffic is unmonitored and unfiltered. In addition, IM can transfer files, opening the door for users to unleash viruses and other plagues on the network by accepting malicious files.

IMsecure encrypts all IM traffic to protect against eavesdropping and includes a feature that prevents buffer overrun attacks via IM. The product has a feature called ID Lock, which looks for personally identifiable information being sent over IM and blocks it. And IM Lock allows users to instantly halt all IM traffic on their machines.

The enterprise version of the product isnt due until years end. But the consumer version, IMsecure Pro 1.0, is available now for $19.95. Users can download a free, limited version.