A firewall for IM: Just what we needed?

Friday, 15 August 2003, 2:52 AM EST

Great. That's just what we needed.

Don't get me wrong. I agree that such products should be available. As long as communications software offers evildoers a red carpet to infiltrate our systems, we'll need sentries like Zone Labs IMSecure Pro and Symantec's Norton Internet Security (NIS) Professional Edition to watch our flanks.

But, as more of these communications channels - e-mail, instant messaging, short message service, etc. - are adapted en masse, and in turn require some form of protection, it won't be long before the cost of security actually exceeds the cost of the computing itself. Instant messaging from Yahoo, America Online, and the Microsoft Network (MSN) are free. But to secure them with a fully loaded version of IMSecure costs $20 per workstation.

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