Saturday 24 June 2006

Mistrusting Skype users

Highlighting the ongoing tension between IT departments and Web 2.0 technologies being used inside the firewall, Chris Nerney on The Datamation IT Blog points to concerns reported about Skype from enterprise IT departments:

"...Skype hasn't had as much luck is in the corporate sector. One of the main reasons for this, according to an article on CNET, is inadequate username authentication for business customers. In other words, a lot of IT managers would like a better idea of who is connecting to their networks... CNET points out, IT managers are concerned that in-house users are unable to "authenticate the identity of the people they are communicating with." One authentication technique being considered by Skype is a "ring of trust," in which users are identified by a certification authority. That sounds like a hard sell to an IT manager running a large enterprise containing sensitive data.

On the otherhand an earlier article in CSO magazine, responding to a research reporting claiming to debunk the Skype hype, comments

"...there is any longer a mystery about [Skype's] risks, which have been well debated elsewhere. A number of companies have even started selling products that set out to stop the application from running at all."
So at the moment there is no middle group: either we block it or just run with it and stop worrying about the risks. Perhaps, as Nerney suggests at the end of his post, this is a golden oppourtunity for a Web 2.0 startup to solve the problem and keep everyone happy.

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  1. It won't be a Web 2.0 startup. Too much work and detail and domain expertise required.

    It will be an existing firm that breaks from the pack. Other firms will be handcuffed by their existing business models.

  2. Fair point Michael. But I wonder if that's the problem then... too hard for a Web 2.0 pure play and not worth it for an existing firm with a Web 1.0 mindset?


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