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Skype protection from dangerous URLs.

FaceTime Communications : 25 March, 2008  (New Product)
Greynet Enterprise Manager improvements offer business users the opportunity to take advantage of technologies such as Skype with more confidence in network security.
FaceTime Communications has announced enhancements to its Greynet Enterprise Manager (GEM) including detection of malicious URLs that enter the network via Skype instant messaging conversations. Skype is encrypted using a proprietary method, making it impossible for traditional security products to view the content of a Skype text conversation. Working in partnership with Skype over the last year, FaceTime is the only security vendor with the ability to examine the content of a Skype instant message as it enters the network.

With 276 million registered business users worldwide, Skype's growing popularity and inherent cost savings has made it very attractive to businesses looking to provide the advantages of presence and real-time Internet communications to their employees. However, malware entering enterprise networks via real-time communications such as instant messaging and Skype, costs businesses nearly $289,000 annually on average, according to the 2007 survey "Greynets in the Enterprise: Third Annual Survey of Trends, Attitudes and Impact," conducted by NewDiligence Research and commissioned by FaceTime.

"With several vulnerabilities already discovered this year, being able to protect against the threat of malware entering the network via something as simple as a URL in a chat screen is crucial," comments Nick Sears, VP EMEA, FaceTime Communications. "Although Skype is quick to fix or offer a remedy to issues discovered, there is still a window of opportunity for hackers and other criminals to take advantage. If organisations want to realise the real-time presence benefits of Skype that window needs to be closed."

An add-on to FaceTime's popular Unified Security Gateway and IMAuditor products, GEM enables organisations to manage security policies and aggregate reporting for IM, P2P and malware traffic across distributed enterprise environments. Using its leading malware signature database maintained by FaceTime Security Labs, FaceTime's products verify that content is safe and free of malicious URL links before entering the network.

In addition to GEM-based control of in-bound URLs, FaceTime offers IT-oriented controls to manage Skype in an enterprise environment through its Unified Security Gateway appliance. Centralised policies can easily be set to allow or disallow various Skype elements for the entire company, for groups or departments, or on an individual basis - including file transfer, voice calling, video calling, voicemail and voice recording.

In addition, proxy settings and listen port settings can be turned on or off for users and administrators to prevent users from broadcasting their presence online. IT can set parameters to deny users from becoming supernodes or relay nodes, and a real-time bandwidth usage indicator provides a constant measure for IT to determine Skype's impact on network traffic.
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