Sophos pushes VoIP, messaging and P2P blocking features

Sophos is moving into general desktop management and has started by adding optional application blocking to its existing anti virus product.

Called Application Control it is a series of new definitions for its existing AV version 6 and will block Google Talk, Skype, and Net2Phone Voip applications; eight instant messaging apps including MSN and Yahoo Messenger; and 20 peer to peer file sharing apps including Grokster, Kazaa, Overnet and BitTorrent.

The firm says it is working on definitions to block network games and plans to move into "other aspects of managing and controlling the desktop experience through a single client."

According to the company the move marks a shift from being a security firm to being a security and control company. "Enterprises want to stop employees from running unauthorised programs that eat up bandwidth, violate security policies or result in data leakage," said Steve Munford, CEO of Sophos.

"Our goal is to provide enterprises with a single management console and universal client for both security and general desktop management."

Existing customers can download the definitions from the Sophos web site at no charge and new customers have the option to deploy or not.

"Companies are in danger of losing control and accountability if they allow their users to decide what software they run on their computers," said Phil Cracknell, UK President of the Information Systems Security Association.