Skype called a danger to IT security

By Derek Sooman on
Industry experts are warning of the security dangers of Skype. The Burton Group is drawing attention to the fact that Skype is a proprietary application that does not publish its protocols for public review. There may also be backdoors into enterprise networks through Skype. Additionally, Skype has made it clear that if asked to do so by a governmental organisation, Skype would release data on the public's use of the application. Additionally, there are issues with the voice over IP service, such as the lack of ability to provide centralized management and control and the inability to log conversations with external bodies.

Burton Group analyst Irwin Lazar pointed out enterprises must weigh the risk versus the reward of allowing the service to be used: "If the risk is too high ban Skype. If the reward outweighs the risk consider Skype as part of your overall communications strategy."

Lazar also noted that the success of Skype has led to a slew of competing services, both from traditional IM providers (AOL, Yahoo and MSN) as well as startups such as Tello and Gizmo. Lazar expects the market for integrated communications services to continue to rapidly grow.

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