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Overview of IM Logging and Archiving

Cisco WebEx Messenger allows you to log and archive Instant Messages (IMs) that users in your organization exchange with each other or with users outside your organization. IM logging and archiving allows your organization to monitor and review IM exchanges. In most cases, this is done to comply with the enterprise's information audit processes.

You can enable IM logging and archiving for users in your Cisco WebEx Messenger organization. Cisco WebEx Messenger can send the logged messages for archival to the following archival solutions:

  • HP Autonomy’s DRC-CM (previously called Iron Mountain DRC-CM)
  • Global Relay's Message Archiver
  • Secure SMTP Service: This option allows you to configure a SMTP server to receive IMs within the body of an email. In this case, IMs become part of the same archival system as your emails enabling you to use the same archival and auditing solution that you use for email.

HP Autonomy DRC-CM and Global Relay Message Archiver are Saas-based message archiving services.

Information logged in an IM session

The following is logged in an IM session:

  • Date and Time
  • Participants (user names)
  • Plain text
  • HTML (including the text equivalent of an emoticon)
  • System messages such as invitations and participants joining and leaving.
  • File transfer initiation and termination, including name of file, and size of file.
  • Video call initiation and termination
  • PC-to-PC call initiation and termination
  • Audio conference initiation and termination
  • Cisco WebEx Meeting initiation and termination
  • Desktop Share initiation and termination
  • Phone call initiation and termination

Restrictions for logged IM users

The following restrictions are applicable for logged IM users:

  • Users whose IM needs to be logged must use the Cisco WebEx Connect application version 7.x or later and the Cisco Jabber application version 9.x or later desktop client or the Web IM application. However, other participants can be using an older version of the Cisco WebEx Connect application and the Cisco Jabber application or any third party IM applications while participating in an IM session with the logged user.
  • The system prevents usage of third-party IM applications for users that are being logged.
  • Logged users must not have end-to-end (AES) encryption enabled. If a logged user has end-to-end encryption enabled, the “logged” status of the user will take precedence and end-to-end encryption will be disabled for the user.
  • A logged user is unable to join a group chat session that is encrypted.
  • A logged user cannot participate in a group chat hosted by a federated user (e.g. user on the AIM or GoogleTalk network). However, federated users can participate in a group chat hosted by a logged Cisco WebEx Messenger user.

IMs are temporarily stored in Cisco data centers before they are transmitted to the customer's servers over a secure channel. Once the transmission is complete, these IMs are permanently deleted from Cisco data centers. The following graphic shows the IM logging and archiving process.




IM archiving notifications

By setting up IM archiving notifications you can choose whether or not to notify users that their IMs are being archived. This notification is sent by the system, and the the default message text is shown below. 

All instant messages sent in this session to and from this account, as well as the initiation and termination of any other communication modes (e.g. voice call, video call) will be logged and are subject to archival, monitoring, or review and/or disclosure to someone other than the recipient.

However, you can choose to override the default message text to suit your organization’s requirements. For more information, see Setting up IM archiving notifications.

When one or more IM logged users are engaged in a one-to-one or group chat, the system sends a notification message to all users involved that their conversation is being logged and archived by one or more of the user’s organizations. 

IM logging and archiving notification frequency

Notifications are sent to all users in a conversation, one for each logged user in the conversation. For example, if five users are in a group chat where three are logged, three notifications are sent to all five users. The exceptions to this are as follows:

  • To avoid duplication, users are sent one copy of notification messages with identical text. Regardless if users are in a one to one or group chat, if they are in organizations that are using an identical message text, default or custom, they see only one notification.
  • If the organization of any logged user in a conversation is using a custom notification message, it is seen by all users. For example, if three users are in a group chat of which two have the default message and one has a custom message, all users see two notifications, the default and the custom.

The system does not send notifications for specific conversations more than once an hour.

After a notification timeout expires, no new notifications are sent unless there is new activity, such as the exchange of IM's or users joining group chats.

Defining an IM archiving endpoint

Setting up IM archiving for your Cisco WebEx Messenger organization involves configuring the archiving endpoint in Cisco WebEx Messenger Administration Tool. The IM archiving endpoint is the place to which the logged IM data is sent. You can configure multiple endpoints.

Endpoint configuration involves specifying the following parameters:

  • Endpoint name
  • Endpoint type
  • Endpoint parameters: Parameters vary according to the endpoint type.

To learn how to set up IM archiving endpoints, see Setting up IM Archiving.

After configuring IM archiving endpoints, you need to assign users in your Cisco WebEx Messenger organization to be logged. There are several provisioning methods that allow you to assign users to be logged as listed below:

Enabling IM Logging and Archiving for your organization

IM Archiving is a separate solution that you need to get provisioned from Cisco WebEx. For information on how get IM Archiving provisioned for your organization, contact your Cisco WebEx Customer Success Manager.

Provisioning information is displayed in Cisco WebEx Administration Tool under Resource Management in the Configuration tab. IM Archiving will not work for users over and above the number of users your Cisco WebEx Messenger organization has been provisioned with. For more information, see Specifying resource management information.

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