Symantec has integrated its archiving and security technologies for e-mail, instant messaging, and Web traffic in a single suite aimed at preventing data loss, securing corporate communications, and speeding the eDiscovery process.

The company announced a new version of Symantec Information Foundation, an integrated information risk management (IRM) suite that enables information entering or exiting the organization to be archived, audited, and discovered through a process that ensures proper “chains of custody” within the organization.

It sounds a little CSI:, but Nick Mehta, vice president of product management for Symantec’s Information Foundation group, says it’s necessary in the age of regulatory compliance. “Whether it’s intentional or unintentional, people are putting their business processes through e-mail, IM, and other unstructured systems. That creates a lot of risk for organizations,” says Mehta.

The Information Foundation 2007 suite integrates several Symantec products, including Enterprise Vault 2007, Mail Security 8300 Series appliances, IM Manager 2007, Mail Security for Domino 2007, and beta support for content filtering of outbound Web communications.

Information Foundation provides a number of ways to control the flow of data with tools designed to identify, classify, and control corporate data held in databases, e-mails, IM, and file systems. The software can also review, hold, release, and audit e-mail, IM, and Web communications based on pre-determined policies.

As instant messaging becomes an accepted method for conducting day-to-day business, companies are playing catch-up with messaging security. Symantec is addressing this trend by enhancing its IM security and archiving software by offering an integrated appliance that secures e-mail and IMs from viruses, spam, and other external threats by integrating technology acquired from start-up IMlogic into Information Foundation.

Information Foundation also manages archiving and security for Microsoft’s collaboration platform, with support for archiving Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Office Communication Server 2007.

Enterprise Vault 2007, the backbone of the software suite’s archiving capabilities, has also been upgraded to include new reports and tools to validate the chain of custody of messages through the archival-and-discovery processes.

Enterprise Vault 2007 also features the ability to decrypt, index, and discover content protected by the PGP encryption system, in addition to existing support for decrypting content protected by Microsoft’s Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) and Entrust.

Information Foundation 2007 will be available later this summer and is priced on a per-user basis at $95 per seat.

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