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Skype: When Good Press Releases Go Bad

Irwin Lazar

Burton Group issued a press release last week announcing the conclusions of my recent report on Skype. I thought the release clearly stated our conclusions on Skype, which essentially were that there are indeed security and management concerns that enterprises ought to be aware of, but that those risks may be outweighed by the business benefits offered by the use of the application, and that enterprises must carefully weigh risk vs. reward when evaluating Skype usage.

However, the press coverage of our release has been all over the map. Tim Greene in Network World provided perhaps the most accurate coverage: "Study: Skype Dangers May Be Acceptable To Business”.

Other press outlets reached very different conclusions, including:

I'm not sure if the press release wasn't clear enough or not, or if we fell victim to exaggeration, but I think that somewhere along the line the message got messed up. But I think it is important to reiterate the conclusion of the report that was stated in the press release:

"If the risk is too high — ban Skype. If the reward outweighs the risk — consider Skype as part of your overall communications strategy."

For further discussion please listen to our free "Inflection Point" podcast on Skype at http://inflectionpoint.burtongroup.com

By Irwin Lazar, Analyst
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Related topics: Cybersecurity, P2P, Telecom, VoIP

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