[ISN] Skype to partner for security in the workplace

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Thu Feb 01 2007 - 03:34:57 PST


By Joris Evers
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
January 31, 2007

Skype plans to announce a partnership next week with a security company 
to help organizations gain control over usage of the Net telephony tool 
at work.

The partnership is with Foster City, Calif.-based FaceTime 
Communications, a maker of software and appliances that let businesses 
monitor and secure use of instant message tools on their networks, 
people familiar with the announcement told CNET News.com.

The arrangement, slated to be unveiled Tuesday at the RSA Conference in 
San Francisco, is the first of what is expected to be several of such 
deals, these people said.

The announcement fits with Skype's efforts to position its Internet 
telephony application as a business tool. The company, part of online 
auctioneer eBay, has been drumming up the advantages of Skype for 
businesses. Skype already counts over 30 percent of its 171 million 
users as business users.

Skype has caused headaches for many IT administrators because it can 
find ways to make a Net connection despite strong firewall controls on 
corporate networks. Also, until the release of Skype 3.0 last month, 
there had been little administrators could do to control use of 
individual features in the Skype client, such as chat and file sharing.

Uncontrolled Skype use can cause compliance problems for businesses in 
certain industries. In the financial industry, for example, U.S. 
Securities and Exchange Commission regulations require that all instant 
messages be logged. In addition to the voice feature, Skype also 
includes instant message functionality.

Skype is looking to team with a number of security companies, also for 
consumer applications. In a recent interview, Skype Chief Security 
Officer Kurt Sauer said the company is in discussions with security 
firms to provide add-ons to its software to scan text sent through 
Skype's chat feature for malicious links.

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