Copyright 2005 by Akeni Systems. Please do not reproduce without permission.

  • Overview
  • LAN Messenger and Pro Server
  • Expert and Enterprise Server
  • Web Client for Live Help, Live Support and Helpdesk


    In this guide, the process of selecting a secure instant messaging solution will be discussed. Some of the common features to consider when selecting a secure EIM are the following:

  • A properly implemented instant messaging system should have strong encryption to ensure that the communication between the client and server is secure.
  • To prevent untrusted users from accessing the messaging system, the identities of the users should be authenticated using an Active Directory or a LDAP(Lightweight Directory Access Protocol).
  • For some industries such as healthcare and financial services must have centralized logging of the messages on the server for regulatory compliance.
  • Whenever a corporation does not have a secure enterprise IM, their employees often have to rely on public IM systems such as AIM, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, or ICQ to communicate with customers. There are many disadvantages of using a public IM system such as:

  • spim (spam for im), worm, adware, spyware, etc.
  • If the messages were not encrypted, confidential information can be intercepted by hackers.
  • Often employees are using the public servers for personal communication with family members and friends which decreases office productivity.
  • Another drawback is that your company's messaging service will be interrupted whenever the public IM server is not available.
  • By implementing your own secure instant messaging solution, your company can prevent some of the problems addressed.

    LAN Messenger and Pro Server Solution

    For a small group of people (less than 20 users), then a LAN based messaging system might be the ideal solution. There are two categories of LAN based messenger, one is the serverless P2P(peer-to-peer) and the other is client/server based such as the Pro Messenger.

    The main advantages of the LAN Messenger are the following:

  • Due to the peer-to-peer nature of the LAN Messenger product, the system is reliable since there is no single point of failure.
  • Another benefit of the LAN Messenger is that it does not require internet access so the possibility of spim, worm, spyware, etc is minimized.
  • Furthermore, by design, the system does not allow users to talk to people outside of the LAN. This will prevent users from spending time communicating with outsiders on non-work related issues.
  • There are a few limitations of implementing a LAN Messenger solution and they are explained as follows:

  • Since the system is P2P, there is no centralized location to store the users passwords.
  • In addition, if your network uses VPN (Virtual Private Network) then most likely the LAN messenger will not work properly unless it supports IP Multicasting.
  • For computers systems with personal firewalls, you need to open a few selected ports to allow certain inbound and outbound ports for communication.
  • If your company require authentification, encryption, or centralized storage of messages, then an alternative solution would be the Pro Messenger Server. The Pro Messenger Server uses 128-bit equivalent 3DES by default but it can also be configured to use RC4 to reduce server CPU load. The Pro Messenger Server allows the system administrator to setup user accounts with password authentification.

    By design, the Pro Messenger does not allow the system administrator to centrally manage user groups and their contact lists. It is an instant messaging system for a company where their users have previous experience with public IM systems such as AOL IM, MSN, ICQ, yahoo, etc.

    If your company requires centralized user administration, policy management, role-based groups, message auditing, or Web based client, then please refer to the Akeni Expert Server/Client solution. If your company needs an IM system to integrate into an existing LDAP, active directory, then please refer to Akeni Enterprise Messenger product.

    Expert and Enterprise Server

    The Akeni Expert Server is designed to handle thousands of users accounts and concurrent network connections. The main features of the Expert Server are as follows:

  • The Expert server administration tools will allow the system administrator to setup public groups, members-only groups, trusted and untrusted users.
  • To prevent users from modifying their user groups and contact lists, you can optionally lock-down the user's account.
  • It has other optional add-on modules such as its web client and message auditing tools. The messages can be logged into flat files, SQLite, or MySQL database.
  • If your company require active directory/LDAP authentification, then please refer to the Enterprise Instant Messaging.

    The Expert uses 128-bit equivalent 3DES by default but it can also be configured to use RC4 to reduce server CPU load.

    The Enterprise Messenger uses SSL for encryption. By default the client can connect to the server using either 56-bit encryption or 128 bit for maximum compatibility, but the server can be configured so that the client must connect to it using 128-bit equivalent 3DES for maximum security. Files are streamed through the same encrypted socket as any other data packet so they are encrypted and secured.

    If you plan to use the IM system as a helpdesk, Live Help, Live support, or an in/outboard then you will require the optional Web Client module.

    Web Client for Live Help, Live Support, and Helpdesk

    The optional Web Client module for the Expert and Enterprise server will allow your company to host your own Live Help, Live Support, and Helpdesk system. Your clients or web site visitor will only need a web browser to contact your support staff. Unlike some of the other products on the market, there is no need for your clients or web site visitors to install of Java, Flash, Active-X, etc.

    Although the Expert and Enterprise Messenger has a standalone client software for Windows and some Linux versions but if your company have Apple Mac, Palm, or any portable device that has a web browser compatible with Internet Explorer 5+ or Firefox 1.02 then you might be able to access the instant messaging server.

    Please note that the Web Client is not a replacement for the standalone client but it does allow for universal accesibility to the server. It is designed for users that are travelling on business trips but who also need to contact co-workers using the internet. The Web Client has most of the features found in the standard client such as text chat, conference, notification, forum, etc.

    Appendix 1. Copyright

    Copyright 2005 by Akeni Systems. All Rights Reserved.