FaceTime greets, disarms spyware

Sometimes the most subtle and accidental applications can open significant holes in an enterprise's security infrastructure. FaceTime Communications is mounting the argument that programs such as instant messaging and Skype will do just that. Granted, it may be something of a self-serving case since FaceTime sells software to block the malware that might penetrate those weak spots, but the argument has some substantial merit to it, according to Peter Christy, principal at Internet Research Group.

On Monday, FaceTime announced Enterprise Spyware Prevention and offered a glimpse into a centralised console for managing spyware hardware and software products, code-named Project Q.

Enterprise Spyware Prevention totes new features to block infections before they occur, reporting tools to help IT detect who is infected, as well as remediation and inoculation capabilities.

"The piece we're really proud of is the inoculation," said Jonathan Christensen, FaceTime's CTO.

He explained that the gateway piece triggers an alert to scan any PC, including LAN-attached and remote machines. Then the inoculation blocks recent installations and freezes existing spyware to isolate PCs from becoming infected or re-infected.

"If spyware can't call home, there's little damage it can really do," Christy said.

FaceTime also discussed Project Q, a centralised management console that Christensen said "stitches it all together, from the gateway to the desktop."

Project Q will become available in September under a formal name, Christensen said. FaceTime Enterprise Spyware is available immediately, starting at US$5,000.

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