Akonix Releases L7 Skype Manager v2.0 Security Appliance
San Diego, Calif. – October 3, 2006 – Akonix Systems, Inc., provider of the most deployed instant messaging (IM) security and compliance products in the world, today announced the immediate availability of Akonix L7 Skype Manager, a security appliance for effectively monitoring and managing the use of Skype over corporate networks.
An increasing number of employees are downloading Skype to make phone calls and use the IM component on company networks, creating security holes for malicious traffic. Internal research from Skype claims that approximately 30 percent of its installed base uses the service for business purposes. According to Nielsen/NetRatings, of the 113 million registered Skype users, 2.2 million use the IM feature. While Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications can offer cost-savings for businesses, they present a host of security and compliance issues when not managed properly.
L7 Skype Manager allows IT departments to set and enforce policies on the use of Skype over company networks. The appliance installs at egress points, and detects Skype traffic, managing connections based upon policies set up by the IT administrator. For example, companies may allow the use of Skype by international employees and branch offices, while blocking it for finance, marketing and manufacturing departments. In addition, the appliance provides further insight by logging and reporting on inbound and outbound Skype traffic, and flagging blocked attempts at its unauthorized use.
Akonix L7 Skype Manager helps companies address three main risks associated with Skype use in the workplace. The first is the fact that Skype makes connections through corporate firewalls that cannot be seen by IT professionals and could create security holes for malicious traffic. In addition, Skype traffic – both voice and IM – is end-to-end encrypted. Organizations bound by law to log, archive and produce reports on electronic messages cannot do so, and therefore are at risk of being out of compliance. Finally, individuals who agree to Skype’s terms and conditions for PC-to-PC calling and IM also agree to allow Skype to set them up as ‘supernodes’ for making Skype connections around the world. Corporate bandwidth is not inexpensive, and providing it free of charge to external corporations is not readily accepted by most IT professionals or CFO’s.
“Undetected Skype use not only claims network bandwidth, but raises liability issues and opens the door to network attacks if the proper security measures are not in place,” said Don Montgomery, VP of marketing at Akonix. “Skype was originally intended for a consumer audience, but just like IM, employees are bringing the technology into the workplace. With L7 Skype Manager, businesses can now reclaim control of their networks by determining who, if anyone, is given access to Skype.”
“The use of Skype in the workplace can be a cost-saver, but we need a product that will manage it effectively on our corporate network, preventing any additional security threats,” said Bill Maguire, vice president and CIO at Virgin America. “With the growing popularity of Skype, Virgin America is looking for ways to manage Internet telephony, and Akonix is, once again, offering the most straightforward, innovative and cost-effective safeguard with its L7 Skype Manager appliance.”
The L7 Skype Manager supports organizations of up to 1,000 seats for $3,495, or up to 10,000 seats for $4,995. For more information on how to manage corporate Skype use, please visit www.akonix.com/manageskype, call 619-615-9415 or email email@example.com.
Akonix is the most deployed IM security product in the world, enabling Global 1000 companies to deploy productive, enterprise-wide IM that is secure, compliant and managed.
Worldwide over one million people across hundreds of organizations in the Financial Services, Telecommunications, Energy, Technology, Healthcare and Entertainment industries use Akonix products. With more than 20 patent applications, Akonix’s 360° Security provides the industry’s only automatically-updated protection to block viruses and malware for both enterprise and public IM systems. Akonix has certified partnerships with all leading IM and presence providers including America Online®, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Reuters, IBM, Jabber, Inc., Parlano, Antepo and Bloomberg.
An IM industry first, the Akonix IM Security Center (http://www.imsecuritycenter.com) provides real-time information about worms, viruses and other vulnerabilities that target IM and P2P networks. The company issues monthly and quarterly IM threat watch reports to track key trends and vulnerabilities.
For further information on the company, please visit http://www.akonix.com.
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