Organizations Unprepared for Widespread Use of Skype
San Diego, Calif. – November 27, 2006 – Enterprises are facing increased security and compliance risks due to the unmanaged use of Skype on corporate networks, according to a recent survey conducted by Akonix Systems, Inc., provider of the most deployed instant messaging (IM) security and compliance products in the world.
In a September 2006 survey, nearly 43% of respondents claimed that Skype is allowed on their corporate networks, and only 27% said their organizations blocks the use of Skype. Another 12% said that Skype is not allowed but employees use it anyway, and 18% did not know if Skype was restricted or not.
According to Skype, 30% of its 113 million registered customers are using it as a business communications tool. However, unless it is managed, Skype can expose companies to serious security risks, compliance liabilities and corporate bandwidth drains. When Skype is downloaded without the knowledge of IT staff, it gives employees the opportunity to communicate unmonitored outside the corporate network, opening the door to potential leaks of confidential information or intellectual property. Additionally, the use of Skype on a corporate network can consume significant bandwidth, slowing down network access and other approved communications tools.
“Skype was designed explicitly to evade IT controls. With its ability to traverse NATs (network address translators) and firewalls, its use of ‘supernodes’ for peer-to-peer connection, and its encryption for both voice and instant messaging, Skype creates an IT security manager’s worst nightmare,” said Don Montgomery, vice president of marketing at Akonix Systems. “They are dealing with an application on the network that can’t be distinguished from other traffic and can’t be managed through traditional security and compliance methods. Yet our survey results show that organizations have barely begun to address the use of Skype in any meaningful manner.”
As a response to the growing risk to corporations, Akonix introduced the L7 Skype Manager in October 2006. This cost-effective security appliance provides corporate IT departments the ability to re-gain control of their networks and minimize the risk and liability that Skype introduces into workplace. Security and compliance professionals who wish to know more about the L7 Skype Manager appliance can find detailed information at www.akonix.com/ManageSkype. Information on the full line of security and compliance products for real-time communications can be found at www.akonix.com, by calling 619-615-9415, or emailing 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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