SOURCE: FaceTime Communications

May 12, 2008 12:20 ET

Eastern Kentucky University Taps FaceTime to Keep Spyware Off Campus

RICHMOND, KY and BELMONT, CA--(Marketwire - May 12, 2008) - Eastern Kentucky University has standardized on FaceTime Communications' perimeter Web security solution to keep spyware and malware from infiltrating its campus-wide network. The appliance supports extensive use of real-time communications such as Skype and instant messaging applications as well as Web-based e-learning systems. The system has been deployed to 2,000 faculty and staff as well as the 5,000 students currently living in on-campus housing.

"FaceTime gives us the perimeter protection and manageability we need to prevent spyware from getting onto our network, taking care of the problem before it can turn into a labor-intensive clean-up operation for the helpdesk," said Ed Riley, assistant director, networking, telecommunications and systems, Eastern Kentucky University.

Although every student is supplied with a copy of Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus when they first arrive on campus, IT and helpdesk personnel had seen a significant rise in spyware infiltrating the network during 2006 and 2007. It became clear that the user-based anti-spyware software that had been the sole defense against these attacks was no longer effective.

"I'm a firm believer in perimeter-based defense systems," said Riley. "By relying on a user-based approach, we were essentially relying on people, and I think anyone in IT would agree that people are the weakest link in any security system."

The extent of the university's reliance on web-based systems for distance learning means that, not only was it essential to keep the network spyware-free to deliver teaching programs effectively, but any viable anti-spyware solution had to offer zero-latency to maintain an effective transmission speed.

Riley's team evaluated a number of edge-defense anti-spyware solutions, focusing on those that had received high ratings in independent reviews and tests. FaceTime was an immediate front runner, exhibiting effective spyware blocking and no network latency. For acceptance in an academic environment, it was also important not to censor communications channels. It offered a good foundation for future management of real-time communications, which would allow an element of control without intruding on the freedom of those communications.

Riley is pleased with the results of the deployment "but I'd guess my colleagues in the helpdesk department are even happier," he says. "Not only are they not getting calls complaining about system slow-downs and other performance-related issues directly attributable to spyware, but they're not spending time fixing the problems the user-based anti-spyware couldn't deal with. They're able to work on more productive tasks like rolling out new PCs and making sure everyone's patched and up-to-date."

An additional benefit Riley discovered was the ability to monitor real-time communications usage and come up with some of those important "back-end" controls to keep the network humming. "By combining the use of Cisco packet-shaping products to curtail P2P traffic on our Resnet network with FaceTime's Web security product to block most P2P traffic, we are able to establish broad operating controls for bandwidth-sapping P2P networks."

Large data packet transfer could indicate music or video file sharing that may constitute a breach of copyright. Notable legal action by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for illegal music downloading in violation of copyright laws has prompted concern among many IT professionals at colleges and universities. Identifying and preventing such transfers keeps both institution and individuals on the right side of the law.

Riley also appreciates the reporting and analysis tools. "Anti-spyware programs can generate a huge amount of data, some of which is extremely useful in configuring the protection to best effect. When we were using client-based protection, that data was essentially unavailable to us, but with FaceTime's Web security solution we can get a number of different reports to help us optimize the system."

About FaceTime Communications

FaceTime Communications enables the safe and productive use of instant messaging, Web usage and Unified Communications platforms. Ranked number one by IDC for four consecutive years, FaceTime's award-winning solutions are used by more than 900 customers -- including nine of the 10 largest U.S. banks -- for security, management and compliance of real-time communications. FaceTime supports or has strategic partnerships with all leading public and enterprise IM network providers, including AOL, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Skype, IBM, Reuters and Jabber.

FaceTime is headquartered in Belmont, California. For more information visit http://www.facetime.com or call 888-349-FACE. The FaceForward blog, at http://blog.facetime.com, offers thoughts and views on the changing nature of Internet communications, from the people behind FaceTime.

FaceTime, FaceTime Communications and the FaceTime logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of FaceTime Communications, Inc. Other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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