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
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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