Features and Functionality In most cases, functionality was

who have made Instant Messaging a critical form of business communication with their partners, in addition to internal communications. Before the release of the Microsoft UC platform, most financial traders were using AOL Instant Messenger or Yahoo Messenger to conduct Instant Messaging sessions over a public transport without encryption. With the Microsoft PIC service, these users can utilize the Microsoft Office Communicator client to enable Instant Messaging to the public Instant Messaging providers, which includes AOL, Yahoo, and MSN (refer to Figure 1-8 in Chapter 1) over a secured communication transport. Not only is PIC integration provided, but the communication is also secured using Transport Layer Security (TLS). The communication transport, or pipe, is encrypted using TLS from the client connecting to the environment, and then further encrypted between the LCS server environment and the public network using Mutual TLS encryption. Now, with Communicator, enterprise organizations can provide access and integration with public Instant Messaging applications and provide the level of security that is needed, whereas in the past these users were communicating private company information over nonsecured public lines. IBM Sametime provides encryption but this is only applied internally without remote access or integration to public Instant Messaging networks. This was, again, a major deciding factor for customers in moving away from the IBM messaging solution. Understanding the Benefits of Real-Time Security Securing Instant Messaging has become an increasing concern, and thankfully Microsoft invested in securing the UC platform. AMicrosoft UC solution addresses security at the communication layer, or pipe, and at the identifying level by challenging the user for the correct user credentials. The connection between the client and server using the Microsoft UC platform is encrypted using Transport Layer Security (TLS). TLS is the next generation of security over Secured Sockets Layer (SSL), and it follows the same process of implementation using secured server certificates. When configuring the Microsoft UC environment, a certificate is applied; and when a client connects to the environment, the server certificate checks to see whether the issuing Certificate Authority (CA) root certificate matches the root certificate on the client s local computer certificate store. In order to thwart or spoof a user s identity, a hacker would also have to obtain this root certificate to enable the client to connect. In addition, Microsoft leverages Microsoft Active Directory to challenge the user for logon credentials, which are only available if the user has an Active Directory enabled account. In all enterprises, Active Directory is highly secured and supported, so the capability to obtain an account in the directory is only accomplished through a detailed approval process. Both levels of security and a configurable Instant Messaging filter, which blocks users from transmitting links or harmful viruses, are provided out of the box. Additional components such as anti-virus protection tools and intrusion detection systems can be added and are highly recommended. The IBM Sametime solution provides security internally between client and server, but does not provide integration with Active Directory. Instead, it maintains its own separate directory service for Sametime users. Meeting Compliance Regulations With the recent implementations of new processes to enable enterprises to meet the compliance regulations of acts that include, but are not limited to, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, ISO, and many other U.S. and international compliance regulations, finding a compliant Instant Messaging application has become mission critical. The enterprise customers I have worked with and met through compliance and security consortiums 45 Live Communications Server 2005 SP1 in the Enterprise
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