Security and Compliance for UC Environments. Microsoft Lync/OCS







Full text


Security and Compliance

for UC Environments



Executive Summary ...4

Best Practice in Securing UC ...5

No One UC is an Island...6

UC Business and Security Risks ...7

Security ...8

Management ...10


Specific Lync/OCS Compliance and

Security Considerations ...17

The Challenges of Federation...18

Controlling Lync/OCS Group Chat ...18

Simplified compliance and archiving for Live Meeting ...19

Additional Considerations ... 20

Enforcement ...20


Actiance ...22

Security, Management, and Compliance for UC ...22

Vantage ...22

Technical Architecture ...23

Installation Environment ...24

Information Flow ...24

eDiscovery & Transcript Export ...25

Conclusion ...26

Best Practice in Securing UC ...27


Executive Summary

Deploying Microsoft Lync Server or Office Communications Server (OCS) is one of the first steps to take advantage of the benefits of Unified Communications (UC). However, in heterogeneous environments where the UC platform operates alongside other communications applications, the overall security, management and compliance becomes more complex. In practice, it is rare that only one UC suite is used exclusively, even after an organization has standardized on a single platform like Lync/OCS. The enterprise architecture will more likely include a combination of authorized applications such as a specific public IM and Skype, which will remain in use no matter what UC platform is deployed. In addition, collaboration with partners, contractors and customers will require the inclusion of other enterprise UC platforms.

This is further complicated by the users themselves downloading a myriad of unauthorized real-time communications tools and web applications such Windows Live, Gmail, Facebook and the more business orientated LinkedIn. Regardless of company policy, because of their pervasive nature and employees’ reluctance to do without, these applications are often found in extensive use across most organizations.

Traditional security measures are no match for today’s modern

communication tools. Many legitimate applications use evasive techniques such as port hopping, protocol tunneling and encryption. In addition, some use Peer to Peer connections. Skype, for instance, uses a peer to peer connection and is encrypted end to end, often even tunneling through HTTP/port 80 if that is the only port/protocol that it finds open on the firewall, negating the use of an URL filtering solution to control it.

Aside from the obvious hazard of malware using this unauthorized channel to subversively enter the network, deploying Lync/OCS without the means to enforce other communication channels from being used adds


the network. Add to this a lack of management to consistently enforce disclaimers, manage content filtering and provide granular control over all internet communications and it is clear that releasing the full potential of unified communications and collaboration requires specialist technology to meet the security, management and compliance issues created when deploying a UC platform.

Actiance’s award-winning platform, Vantage, extends and augments Lync/ OCS’s native functionality for security, compliance, policy enforcement, reporting and archiving, without impacting on the scalability or the performance of a Lync/OCS deployment. Actiance’s extensive functionality enables enterprises to embrace internal and external collaboration, with the ability to create ethical boundaries and block or control potentially unauthorized applications, such as Skype, GoogleTalk and other real time communications.

This white paper addresses the security, management and compliance issues created when deploying a UC platform such as Lync/OCS and explains how Actiance enables organizations to safely realize the full potential of unified communications and collaboration.

Best Practice in Securing UC

Effective security, management and compliance of UC deployments require a three-step process:

1. Gain visibility of all collaborative applications active on the network; 2. Create and enforce acceptable usage policies that control the flow of

communication both within and outside the organization; 3. Deploy a solution to block unwanted applications, while enabling


No One UC is an Island

The Internet has changed. The adoption of popular consumer-oriented real-time communications and web apps within enterprise networks has significantly altered the way many workers approach business collaboration today. As employers recognize the productivity gains from their use, demand for similar enterprise class applications increases. As a result, a growing number of organizations are deploying and extending solutions such as Office Communications Server 2007 and Lync Server.

But the assumption that consumer-oriented applications will be eliminated once a UC platform is deployed is little more than wishful thinking. In practice, the UC environment will be a hybrid of these consumer-type applications that early adopters have introduced to the organization, a standard UC platform such as Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, and a mix of other UC providers focusing on VoIP and video/Web conferencing. In fact, leading analyst group Gartner suggests that mid-to-large organizations depend on anywhere from 7 to 12 strategic UC vendors to provide critical capabilities for their businesses.

It is highly likely that the existing communications and collaborative applications installed inside the company will remain in use. For example, ongoing meetings with suppliers may have been established using WebEx for Web conferencing, corporate offices may already be using Cisco VoIP, collaboration may be fostered using Microsoft Sharepoint. In addition, now introduced to the benefits of features such as presence, users frequently start using unsanctioned public real-time communications and web apps such as Skype, Twitter and LinkedIn to ensure continuous non-restricted conversations with partners and customers.


Microsoft Lync/OCS is extremely effective in delivering UC, but it does not natively provide the capabilities to meet all of today’s security, compliance and legislative requirements. In addition, it does not prevent users from continuing to use public real-time communications and web apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Skype, many of which are built to evade traditional security measures or Webmail accounts such as Gmail and Yahoo.

Securing and controlling this heterogeneous environment is a multi-faceted challenge. Compliance, management and security policies need to be applied consistently across all platforms, both consumer and enterprise, enabling the enterprise not just to deploy Lync/OCS, but to embrace the whole spectrum of Unified Communications and Collaboration.

UC Business and Security Risks

The main risks for enterprises deploying Lync/OCS are very similar to those of other electronic communications such as email: malware, data leakage, potential libelous comments, noncompliance with government and industry regulations and expensive litigation or eDiscovery costs. Just like email, the principles for applying policies and securing UC remain same. However, unlike email, because UC covers such a wide range of modalities consideration should be given to types of applications, their individual capabilities and the associated risks. At the same time, because Lync/ OCS is rarely used in isolation consideration must also be given to the security, management and compliance of other enterprise and public communication applications.




It is no secret that web apps, public IM, peer-to-peer file sharing and social media introduce risk to the enterprise. The productivity advantages of collaboration are quickly lost when malware infections send the IT staff into the equivalent of search and rescue mode to clear malware from end points and protect the company from sensitive data loss.

According to Actiance’s Fifth Annual Survey, The Collaborative Internet: Usage Trends, End User Attitudes and IT Impact (2010), a typical incident requires an average of 55 IT employee hours to remediate (up from 22 hours in 2008). At an estimated $70/hour pay scale, that runs more than $219,450 per month at affected organizations.

Unsurprisingly, social engineering tactics are used extensively by malware writers who hijack IM buddy lists to trick users into thinking a link coming in on their IM screen is actually from a trusted friend on the system. Once introduced to the network, multi-protocol malware can quickly jump from the public IM system to the internal Lync/OCS.

In just the same way as an email server does not inherently provide protection against malware, neither do UC servers. In the last six months, 90% of Enterprises have experienced a web apps related attack, in spite of virtually all IT managers having deployed extensive security measures. Although the major public networks (AOL, Windows Live and Yahoo) account for the majority of all IM-based attacks, it is also worth noting that the “minor” networks, ranging from Reuters to semi-private Jabber-based, account for an increasing share of the total incidents.


Zero Day Attacks

A new, and as yet unknown, IM threat has the greatest propensity to spread and infect organizations immediately after it is released by the creator. Products that rely on signatures alone and require organizations to wait hours or even days for a new signature to be created, tested and distributed are virtually ineffective in defending against IM threats. Even a short ‘window of vulnerability’ for IM based attacks is unacceptable. Enterprises need to secure against IM threats by preventing new infections before they get started. Actiance’s Zero Day defense system protects against worms delivered over public IM and UC chat using anomaly detection techniques that analyzes multiple characteristics of IM conversations against normal behavior.

Data Leakage

Data leak prevention is a crucial piece of UC management and security. The return on investment of a UC platform is lost if the result is another open security hole for intellectual property to be leaked. Beyond basic text correspondence, file attachments can contain sensitive information and unless their content can be detected and evaluated, information can be lost unknowingly.

In the Actiance Fifth Annual Collaborative Internet survey, 69% of IT respondents reported incidents of malware and/or information leaks due to the use of Internet applications. Viruses were most common at 55%, followed by malware infiltrations at 45% – but in new statistics gathered for the first time this year 14% have seen data leakage through


In defending themselves against intentional and accidental data leakage organizations must be able to control access, limit file sharing capabilities accordingly and filter content of all electronic communications. With Vantage enterprises have the ability to provide granular control over an employee’s actions on Lync/OCS and beyond, including web apps and public webmail.


The combination of corporate governance best practices and regulatory compliance creates several management challenges in the heterogeneous UC environment. At the core of managing UC are the acceptable use policies that govern issues such as which departments can communicate with each other, which applications are approved for use on the enterprise network and what types of information are restricted from leaving

the organization.

Individually, these policies may seem simple to maintain. However, the multidimensional aspects of managing access and use rights across a vast array of users and various communications modalities can make this basic policy setting function seem daunting. Even within a single UC system, there can be multiple touch points required to manage communications for and between users. Best practice is to streamline this process so that policies can be set for each employee once and distributed across all presence points on the network.

In practice, having separate consoles to assign policies for the UC system, legacy VoIP system, Web conferencing, etc. in addition to putting policies in place for web app-based communications tools is highly inefficient. Actiance enables organizations to manage this environment with ease by providing a centralized policy setting mechanism that recognizes not only Lync/OCS, but other UC platforms as well as public IM and web apps.



UC platforms, public real-time communications tools and web apps offer huge productivity benefits, but that doesn’t mean to say that employees should be given free rein. Consideration should still be given to whether an employee really needs access to specific applications or be able to transfer certain files types. For geographically remote offices access to applications may need to be restricted to conserve bandwidth. Allowing broad access to voice and video applications can significantly impact on network performance in areas where data transmission is already restrictive. Actiance Vantage provides granular control of real-time communications and instant messaging applications, such as Lync/OCS, Yahoo!, Skype, and Google Talk. It enables organizations to establish content monitoring, file transfer, and usage policies, thus reducing the risks posed by both inbound and outbound security threats that can result in security breaches, productivity loss, and information leakage.

Ethical Walls

There are many situations where an enterprise may want to restrict conversations between specific persons or groups, both within and outside of the organization in order to prevent a conflict of interest that might result in the inappropriate release of sensitive information. Relying on employees discretion however, does not prevent a lapse in judgment or a genuine error in multi-party conversations, potentially placing the company at risk of information leakage, or worse still a large fine from an

industry regulator.

Ethical wall policy is not limited to simple black and white decisions to block communications. Many variations of ethical walls are required,


between groups of users. Furthermore, in persistent and semi-persistent communications such as group chat and web conferencing require special rules to account for concurrent and historical usage restrictions.

Actiance enables for ethical walls to be implemented at both a group and domain level to ensure that conflicting personnel do not accidentally “meet” electronically, be that on IM, Group Chat or in a Live Meeting and maintains a full audit trail that clearly displays when an individual joined a meeting and subsequently left. In addition, the application of disclaimers when using Microsoft Lync/OCS as employees join a meeting can help to reinforce the message.

Analytics and Reporting

Visibility is the crucial first step to managing the complex landscape beyond Lync/OCS including social networking, instant messaging, and thousands of web apps. Easy reporting and graphical representation provide management with the tools to unlock trends around user productivity in Lync/OCS, Internet and real-time application usage. For Lync/OCS, reporting on system usage and communication metrics are necessary to understand UC adoption, calculate ROI, and determine infrastructure required to meet user demand and ensure quality of service. Actiance provides comprehensive reporting to enable enterprises to gain visibility into the usage of Lync/OCS – by modality, by site and by employee group. Reports show adoption and usage trends and allow key metrics to be measured including Live Meeting, Group Chat, and Lync/ OCS voice and video usage which can be translated into savings on travel, hosted conferencing, and telephony costs.


Actiance also delivers enterprise data visualization of Web user behavior, Web browsing patterns, and Web application usage trends. Ideal for managing enterprise networks that encompass multiple locations, Actiance’s dynamic, multidimensional graphical interface provides complete visibility into Internet and real-time application usage that has not previously been possible with native Lync/OCS or legacy reporting applications for real-time communications traffic, Web security and data compliance.


Regardless of the industry regulations an organization is subject to, most require member firms to be able to identify employees, even if they use buddy names, control content that might be construed as advertising or advice and archive all electronic communications. However, in practice not many firms are able log content posted to Facebook or Twitter, let alone try to control the content of the actual message.

Within some industries this may even be taken a step further where creating ethical walls between business functions is a required element of compliance. Complete, of course, with a full audit trail of who joined the conversation and when, how long they stayed and when they left. Although the majority of these regulations are centered in the banking, finance, healthcare and energy industries, most businesses are governed by a set of regulations that demand that best practice be followed.


SEC Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4 and NASD rule 3110

Organizations must retain records of communications related to business.

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) Requires that the content of communications should be scanned for sensitive content that should not be sent in clear text – e.g., personally identifiable credit information; as well as content that should never be sent via public communications channels

FINRA Notice 07-59 Ethical walls requirement between research and investment banking departments

FRCP (Federal Rules of Civil Procedure)

Requires the storage of business records in whatever medium they may have been produced or stored. Email and IM are electronically stored information. Posts to social media sites must be preserved if reasonably determined to be discoverable.

Investment Dealers Association of Canada (IDA29.7)

Demands the retention of records with relation to business activities, regardless of its medium of creation.

MiFID and FSA Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (EU)

Specifically requires the retention of electronic communications conversations when trades are referenced.

FERC Order No. 717 The goal of this order is to create an ethical wall between the marketing and transmission functions of vertically integrated companies. Retain communications for 5 years. Plus, if communications takes place, it must be made public immediately.

CFTC & NFA Compliance Rule 2-29 Supervisory procedures for email and Web. NFA Interpretive Note 9063

If a Member or Associate hosts a blog, a chat room, or a forum where futures or forex are discussed, the Member or Associate is required to supervise the use of that community. This requires, at a minimum, that the Member or Associate regularly monitor the content of the sites it hosts, take down any misleading or otherwise fraudulent posts, and ban users for egregious or repeat violations.


Providing a tamperproof environment that enables real-time ethical walls, the enforcement and validation of a full audit trail including guaranteed message order preservation, disclaimers and authorized usage policies, Actiance enables even the heaviest of regulated companies to take advantage of UC and collaboration technologies.


The process of archiving, storing and making UC conversations easily retrievable for regulatory compliance and legal discovery is made exponentially more complex because of the multidimensional nature of these conversations. For example, a chat conversation can include numerous participants joining at different times, creating a requirement to understand the context surrounding each participants understanding of these conversations – who entered – and left the conversation at what point during the discussion.

The issue with choosing not to archive any information is that in many cases, desktop IM clients for example, an archive is automatically kept by default. This makes the information discoverable whether or not the corporation has an archiving policy or system in place. Furthermore, in the case of conversations with external parties, if an organization chooses not to archive, it leaves itself at the mercy of the records of the other party. There is no guarantee that the other side of the conversation is not being recorded.

In addition, there are country and regional regulations regarding the use and management of electronic communications that need to be considered. For instance in Switzerland, if a conversation is recorded that information cannot be stored outside of Switzerland. Ensuring that an enterprise


Actiance enables recorded conversations to be exported easily, along with any disclaimers shown and to whom, file transfers and CDR information on Voice calls, Live meeting, group chat sessions etc. Integrating with Active Directory, Actiance maps a user’s buddy name to their Active Directory account in the internal database. Once conversation transcripts are received, they are parsed and written into the backend SQL database. With Vantage, organizations have a choice – archiving to Vantage’s own database, or for those customers that have deployed an email archive, exporting to that to provide a single point of resource for eDiscovery.


It is not uncommon for large organizations to have several lawsuits pending at any given time, involving employees that may be based anywhere in the world. Communications of employees key to the litigation process must be available for review according to court mandates. This level of compliance and litigation support is crucial for large organizations. Without easy access to archived communication to support the litigation process, costs can soon spiral upwards.

Analyst Michael Osterman points out that “while most of these regulations’ data retention provisions do not specifically call out Electronically Stored Information (ESI), email, instant messages or other specific forms of data, the growing quantity of ESI dictates that business records and other information should be preserved in their native format as a best practice.” To take advantage of investment already placed in an enterprise or email archive, organizations should ensure that it is possible to export conversation transcripts along with associated file transfers to a corporate email archiving platform, thereby providing a single point of resource to aid eDiscovery. In addition, a unified approach is needed for IM, group chat, web conferences and call detail records.


Actiance enables the easy retrieval of stored information based on granular searches of keywords, users, time frames, and more, helping organizations to meet e-Discovery deadlines and minimize financial exposure. With Actiance, enterprises can apply content categories, annotate archived conversations and email them directly for further review. As an additional measure of security, all review of the archive is fully audited. Actiance further protects investment already made by integrating with existing email storage and archiving systems, providing a single point of eDiscovery that incorporates other communication tools such as BlackBerry messaging.

Specific Lync/OCS Compliance and

Security Considerations

Microsoft Lync/OCS includes a number of security and compliance features from encryption and basic control methods to the ability to archive some types of communication within Lync/OCS. For some enterprises these measures may not be enough and a standard platform for compliance and security that covers all UC and collaboration conversations is required. Actiance provides extra functionality such as disclaimer messages, content filtering for Federated connections, granular control over employee and non-employee conversations including ethical walls, integrated malware prevention and the ability to export Lync/OCS messages alongside public messaging systems into a single messaging archiving platform.


The Challenges of Federation

The rewards of federation are clear: it provides interoperability between users similar to the ease with which they enjoy email communications today. However, just like email it increases the risk of malware infection, data leakage and the potential to interact with another person outside of an ethical or regulatory boundary, in addition to being more reliant on another organization’s security policy.

Vantage allows organizations to control which external parties can communicate with which users, groups or networks. An ethical wall policy can also be defined at a group level including domain based groups to control communications between groups.

Vantage also provides organizations with the ability to include non-employees and then restrict communications so that non-employees are not allowed to contact anyone who is not registered. This is particularly important where a large enterprise may have a regulatory duty to be able to demonstrate the separation of business functions or divisions.

Controlling Lync/OCS Group Chat

Unlike a 1:1 or multi-party chat that ends when the last person leaves, Group Chat enables Lync/OCS users to create themed chat rooms that people can join and leave as they wish. Such freedom, although great for business and productivity, can easily allow for accidental data leakage by users that forget who else is a member of the chat room or may become a member in the future. Users who join a chat room get access to historical messages and files posted to the room. This is particularly true in larger organizations that may have several Group Chats set-up both across divisions within the business and with suppliers and partners.


Vantage enables organizations to overcome this and achieve legislative compliance by enabling customized disclaimer to be displayed for each user that joins a chat room. In addition it provides visibility of who joined and who left a particular chat room, and when, allows for ethical boundaries to be adhered or removed and applies content filtering rules to messages and files posted to group chat rooms. As always malware is a constant threat and file uploads can be captured, scanned for viruses, and stored along with messages posted. With IM Auditor there is no need for a Group Chat compliance server.

Actiance does not require the installation of any software on the Group Chat server to enforce policies or archive the conversation transcripts. Rather, policy is defined through the Vantage server Administration interface and enforced by the Actiance Lync/OCS Connector, which resides on the Lync/OCS Front End Servers. Conversation transcripts are gathered from a file share on the Group Chat server, in a similar manner to Live Meeting, and are stored in realtime as chat conversations in Vantage. They can then be exported to an Enterprise Archive system in the normal manner. File transfers are also archived immediately after they are posted to the Chat room and associated with the chat transcript.

Simplified compliance and archiving for Live Meeting

The archiving and compliance capabilities of Live Meeting are typical of those provided throughout Lync/OCS. Live Meeting content can be saved to a file share and consists of a hashed directory structure containing XML and other data files for each meeting. Although the list of data collected is fairly extensive, the data is not presented in view that enables the organization to see at a glance how the conversation transpired, who was in the meeting when a particular piece of information was given or when


Vantage tracks each Live Meeting session in real time to record start and end time, participants, and join and leave times. Ninety seconds after a Live Meeting ends, Vantage accesses the Live Meeting compliance file share and imports the data. In addition to searching by standard data criteria such as date or participants, individual components of Live Meeting can be searched such as specific chat conversations retrieved by text contained in the messages.

Such comprehensive indexing of each component allows for searching beyond just Live meeting, so for instance searching for all conversations between two specific users will find Live Meeting chat conversations as well as regular IM. Just like Group Chat functionality, Vantage also captures documents uploaded, handouts, screen captures, text pages and shared notes.

Additional Considerations


While Microsoft Lync/OCS provides a robust communications platform it does not prevent users from installing public other real-time applications on their desktop or from using communication tools within web

applications. Although Lync/OCS supports some of the major public IM services – through the Public Internet Connectivity gateway (PIC) – such as Windows Live Messenger or Yahoo! Messenger, if a user wants to communicate with a friend or work colleague on another service, they will simply install it.


Aside from the obvious hazard of malware subversively entering the network – research shows that 69% of organizations reported at least one Web-related attack in the last year, there is also the danger that organizations are not monitoring what is being sent out, nor are they in a position to provide evidence should a call for eDiscovery be made on an unmonitored conversation.

Actiance can enforce usage policies across corporate IMs, public IMs, and social networks. For instance, users may be blocked from playing Farmville or Mafia Wars in Facebook, but allowed to access other features on the site.

Enabling Other Messaging Servers

Many organizations will also require for other messaging services to be used in conjunction with Lync/OCS, such as the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, Thomson Reuters Messenger or even public IM services for certain departments. Lync/OCS natively enables only the control and logging of Lync/OCS messages, an additional and separate solution would need to be deployed to manage other messaging services, further complicating the overall architecture and making it difficult to see “a complete picture” of conversations undertaken when investigating potential misuse.

Actiance provides security, management and compliance to a wide range of communications servers, public messaging applications and web applications, enabling organizations to see at a glance any conversation that takes place over their networks.



Security, Management, and Compliance for UC

Actiance delivers security, management and compliance across the broadest set of platforms and communications mediums, ensuring integration with existing Microsoft enterprise infrastructure including Active Directory, SQL, archiving systems and more. With Actiance, organizations can protect their investment in Lync/OCS and Microsoft Lync Server, and enforce a centralized corporate policy, which other rogue real-time applications would attempt to circumvent.


Vantage is the de facto platform for granular security, policy controls and compliance features for real-time and unified communications – providing management for the widest variety of UC and real-time communications platforms, including Microsoft Lync/OCS, Cisco Unified Presence, and IBM Lotus Sametime; public instant messaging platforms such as Windows Live and Skype; Web conferencing; and industry-focused networks like Thomson Reuters Messenger, Bloomberg, and YellowJacket.

Actiance solutions seamlessly integrate with each other and with existing IT infrastructure, such as email and archive storage, anti-virus, content scanning, encryption, and name space management, so businesses protect and optimize their existing technology investments. Vantage is scalable and flexible, allowing companies to choose which platforms, networks, and applications to use without changing business workflow.


Technical Architecture

The following diagram shows how Vantage integrates into a typical Microsoft Lync/OCS enabled network. Vantage is connected via the Lync/ OCS Front-end Servers enabling it to control, monitor and maintain all UC, collaboration and web conversations, both internal and external. Although it is possible to install Vantage on the Edge Server, it is then only possible to monitor external conversations, thus leaving the organization susceptible to internal abuse.


Installation Environment

Vantage runs on Microsoft Windows Server, storing backend data and policies in a Microsoft SQL database. Active Directory is queried so policies can be applied to users and groups. In accordance with Microsoft recommendations, a small service, Actiance’s Lync/OCS Connector, is installed on the Lync/OCS Front End servers. This Connector periodically pushes messages for archiving using Microsoft Message Queuing on TCP port 1801 and pulls policy updates using TCP port 8090 from the Vantage system, thus providing hygiene, content filtering and archiving.

Information Flow

When internal Lync/OCS users communicate with internal or external users (through a Lync/OCS Edge server), their traffic is first routed through the Front End server, which has a small Actiance Connector Agent running on it. The Actiance Connector Agent:

• Applies virus scanning and other file type and blocking

• Applies policy to the Lync/OCS users or by Active Directory Group, which can include the following:

– Allow/Block aspects of Lync/OCS functionality, including Live Meeting, Voice, and Video.

– Allow/Block/Alert certain text or regular expressions in IM conversations or file transfers, e.g. bank account or credit card number pattern matching

• Adds corporate disclaimers to messages

• Sends UC events and conversation transcripts to Vantage, which contain:

– IM Conversation contents, including disclaimers – File transfers


Policies are defined within Vantage and regularly pulled from the Lync/ OCS Front End servers. Once the baseline policy and global defaults are configured, exceptions can then be defined for different groups of users (and/or individuals), including which groups can intercommunicate. Vantage integrates with Active Directory and enables a user’s buddyname to be mapped to their Active Directory account in the internal database. Once conversation transcripts are received by Vantage, they are parsed and written into the backend SQL database.

The Actiance Agent deployed on the Lync/OCS Front End server has visibility to user activity and communications on Lync/OCS, providing a way to monitor and report on overall Lync/OCS usage. Reports available include number of users currently online, number of sessions by modality, and usage trend reports. These system usage reports provide vital statistics to measure Lync/OCS adoption. Filters on usage by employee groups, time period, and modalities used allow for granular results and provide key ROI metrics.

eDiscovery & Transcript Export

Although Actiance Vantage has its own eDiscovery interface, it may be desirable to use a centralized search interface such as the one provided by an Email Archive or Enterprise Document Management System. Vantage can export conversation transcripts along with file transfers as SMTP emails to a Microsoft Exchange mailbox or to any destination that can receive or ingest emails.

Using a single system, Vantage is able to export data for all types of Lync/ OCS communications: IM, Group Chat, Live Meeting, and even VoIP and video session meta-data. There is no need to access disparate data stores


The policy options allow for any given conversation to be exported to multiple destinations if required. The data for all users can be sent to an archiving solution while the data for specific users can also be fed into a surveillance system. It may be the case that data must be exported to appropriate geographic archives based on the locations of the users being monitored. This is achieved by configuring multiple exporters to direct the data as needed.

Even after export, the conversations can be retained within Vantage for as long as desired. A data retention policy dictates how long the data is kept within Vantage. Safeguards ensure that no data is purged from Vantage until it has been exported to all specified destinations.


Businesses look to UC to provide a standard platform offering the benefits of these collaborative applications, but in practice, it rarely means the elimination of the software that employees are already using. In fact, the number of public web applications in use in the enterprise has been steadily rising since Actiance began tracking these trends in its annual survey. Organizations need to take a holistic approach to securing internet based communications, regardless of whether they choose to enable or block their use. Whilst Lync/OCS does provide some native security and compliance functionality, it is not always enough to support industry regulations and does not prevent users from communicating using other internet based collaboration tools.


In addition, deploying Lync/OCS or extending its use to include other capabilities such as Federation, brings additional challenges to the enterprise, such as a lack of disclaimer messages or content filtering. Neither does Lync/ OCS provide detailed, easy access to archived conversations and file transfers that may prove to be vital evidence in a court of law.

With Actiance, organizations can immediately benefit from the cost savings and productivity of UC platforms such as Microsoft Lync/OCS, without exposing the enterprise to compliance or security risks.

Best Practice in Securing UC

Effective security, management and compliance of UC deployments require a three-step process:

1. Gain visibility of all collaborative applications active on the network; 2. Create and enforce acceptable usage policies that control the flow of

communication both within and outside the organization; 3. Deploy a solution to block unwanted applications, while enabling

those which are beneficial to the organization’s collaborative communications goals.


About Actiance

Actiance® is a global leader in communication, collaboration, and social

media governance for the enterprise. Its governance platform is used by millions of professionals across dozens of industries. With the power of communication, collaboration, and social media at their fingertips, Actiance helps professionals everywhere to engage with customers and colleagues so they can unleash social business.

The Actiance platform gives organizations the ability to ensure compliance for all their communications channels. It provides real-time content monitoring, centralized policy management, contextual capture of content and smart archiving which improves the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of eDiscovery and helps protect users from malware and accidental or malicious leakage of information. Actiance supports all leading social media, unified communications, collaboration, and IM platforms, including Facebook (FB), LinkedIn (LNKD), Twitter, Google (GOOG), Yahoo! (YHOO), Skype, IBM, (IBM), Jive (JIVE), Microsoft (MSFT), Cisco (CSCO), and (CRM).

Actiance is headquartered in Belmont, California.

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