AOL adds encryption to its corporate IM

America Online Inc. (AOL) has shored up its enterprise messaging products, adding the ability to encrypt messages, files and chat sessions over its network, which can then be logged and audited.

The enhancements to the company's enterprise messaging tools, announced Monday, are aimed at giving companies greater control over instant messaging (IM) use.

The encryption capabilities are incorporated into the new 5.2 version of AOL's Instant Messenger (AIM) client and into its AIM Enterprise Gateway 2.0.

The encryption is enabled when users click on an option in the AIM client, prompting the deployment of a digital certificate from AOL using technology from VeriSign Inc.

AOL also announced Monday that the AIM Enterprise Gateway now allows for the mapping of AIM screen names to employee's IDs, allowing for permission-based access to information based on job title, department or function, for example.

The new offerings are part of a push by AOL to roll out more corporate messaging products, as the market continues to show strong growth. A study released earlier this month by Radicati Group Inc. predicted that corporate IM accounts would reach 60 million in 2003 and grow to 349 million by 2007.

Earlier this month, AOL announced that it was partnering with IMLogic Inc. to provide added management, control and security to AIM.

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