SurfControl wipes out Skype

SurfControl has released an upgrade for its Enterprise Threat Shield (ETS) that protects corporate networks against the dangers of Skype.

As cost saving benefits of IP telephony lures more organisations to adopt Skype and other free IP communication systems, users are being targeted through vulnerabilities that abound in the technology.

"The anecdotal feedback we're receiving is that Skype is very popular on corporate networks," said SurfControl's recently promoted senior vice president of sales for APAC, Charles Heunemann. "But as brilliant a piece of software Skype is, there are some IT departments that for a number of reasons are not going to want to have that application residing on their networks."

SurfControl CIO, Max Rayner, said in a statement, that although Skype as an application does not pose a threat to corporate networks, it can introduce unnecessary risks and vulnerabilities that could be exploited to cripple organisations.

The upgrade to Enterprise Threat Shield can be configured to stop users downloading Skype from its host site, control unauthorised Skype usage and detect and remove current versions within a corporate network.

ETS can also grant Skype access to authorised individuals, but Heunemann warned that the same threats will still be present.

"With ETS you have the ability to determine what can be blocked and what can be left alone. Organisations can make a determination about what level of exposure they're willing to commit themselves to," he said.

The upgrade to Enterprise Threat Shield is available free for current SurfControl customers. Pricing is based on yearly subscription and can range from US$38 per user for a company of 50 users, to US$12.60 per user for a company of over 1000 users.

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