A survey has found that 93% of of 291 companies companies believe that instant messaging (IM) and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) usage is moving faster than corresponding security.

Also, according to interviews conducted by Infosecurity Europe with a panel of 20 chief security officers (CSOs) of large enterprises, IM is now prevalent in organisations with large volumes of financial transactions being carried out over IM in some organisations. Another concern was that as IM allows encrypted data traffic it could be an undetectable source of data leakage.

The view on VoIP is that although there has been some adoption, it is not yet a widely deployed technology in corporates although it was being used a lot by travelling executives. But the story is very different in the small-to-medium sized business (SMB) sector where many have rushed to take the opportunity to reduce costs. There are similar security issues relating to VoIP regarding encrypted traffic and also the potential for instant messaging spam (SPIM) to clog VoIP communications and cause similar problems to those caused by spam in email.

“The convergence of communications networks, devices and content has enabled service providers to deliver newer, faster and more advanced services including voice, data, video and applications – all over a single IP network. While these rapid technology advancements have tremendous benefits, they have raised questions from policymakers about whether security can keep up,” said Marika Konings, director of European Affairs for the Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA). “It is vital for the information security industry to stay engaged with our policy makers as they evaluate the impact of these new.”

Infosecurity Europe 2007 takes place from 24 to 26 April in London.