Though VoIP company Skype has promised a more enterprise-friendly, manageable version of its popular service, Akonix Systems has announced an appliance designed to monitor and manage users of the consumer version behind the corporate firewall.
The company today announced L7 Skype Manager, an appliance that brings management features similar to those offered by other appliances in its L7 line, which is primarily aimed at instant messaging security and compliance.
According to Akonix, L7 Skype Manager installs at egress points and monitors for Skype traffic. It provides a policy-based management system that allows administrators to selectively restrict and allow Skype traffic. "For example, the company noted in its announcement, "companies may allow the use of Skype by international employees and branch offices, while blocking it for finance, marketing and manufacturing departments."
The appliance also logs and reports on Skype traffic passing over the network, and flags attempts at unauthorized use.
"Undetected Skype use not only claims network bandwidth, but raises liability issues and opens the door to network attacks if the proper security measures are not in place," said Don Montgomery, VP of marketing at Akonix. "Skype was originally intended for a consumer audience, but just like IM, employees are bringing the technology into the workplace. With L7 Skype Manager, businesses can now reclaim control of their networks by determining who, if anyone, is given access to Skype."
The L7 Skype Manager supports organizations of up to 1,000 seats for $3,495, or up to 10,000 seats for $4,995.