There's More to IM Logging Than You Think

IM logging involves more than simply recording everything that comes and goes.

July 7, 2003

1 Min Read
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The National Association of Securities Dealers informed its members last month they must retain all instant messaging text for three years. Such a stipulation may prove to be a problem even for those firms already using a corporate IM product.

Like e-mail logging, IM logging involves more than simply recording everything that comes and goes. First, there's the age factor: NASD has said content older than three years can be purged. Prudent companies will purge to limit the hit on time and money that could result from a subpoena of information older than three years; if you have the data, you're required to produce it. If your logging technology doesn't let you purge with ease, find another product. And what about the logs that have been archived to tape or CDs? You need a complete indexing system to manage logs so that you know when data should be purged. Otherwise, you could spend countless hours reading tape after tape to produce information you weren't required to keep in the first place.

You also need a policy engine to enforce your company's rules and regulations, keep your employees from transmitting corporate secrets and keep them from using an IM system other than the corporate one (such as AOL Instant Messenger) that could circumvent archiving.

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