10 november 2005

Info-Tech Research Group calls for ban on Skype

Skype poses five issues for enterprises, the study claims, and should be kept out of the business on security and privacy grounds.

The Australian-based VoIPNews cited a report by Info-Tech Research Group on Skype and the hazards it poses to an enterprise.

Concerns about security center around problems recently experienced by Skype. The VoIP company, recently acquired by eBay in a multi-billion dollar deal, issued updates to fix issues with their proprietary client. Still, the report claims, Skype retains vulnerabilities to man-in-the-middle attacks and could deliver a worm injected into it throughout a network.

Late last month, questions about how Skype could effectively update buggy software emerged when TechWeb found that launching a vulnerable client post-update did not bring about a prompt to obtain new software.

Privacy concerns figure prominently in the US, as the report noted legislation like HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley requires record retention, meaning VoIP in general places a new burden upon the storage capabilities of a business. Using VoIP without retaining conversations in an industry legally required to do so could prompt criminal charges.

The report also said using Skype could be a barrier to communicating with countries like China, which block its usage. Info-Tech also claimed Skype has been banned by "many post-secondary institutions in North America" along with P2P and file sharing utilities.

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