Skype is planning to improve the identity authentication process of its voice over IP telephony system to help reassure business users.
Skype, which is owned by eBay, plans to enhance the username authentication process so users know for sure who they are talking to at the other end of the call.
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Although Skype does use an encrypted public key infrastructure system to help secure calls, it automatically authenticates users itself.
As a result, users cannot authenticate the identity of the people they are communicating with themselves, which is of particular concern to some business users.
The Skype service, which offers free or cheaper calls to users, has taken off in the consumer market, but Skype is now trying to build critical mass in the business market. Security is one area where Skype sees improvements could be made to help achieve its aim
The company is now looking at ways in how independent authentication can be achieved. One possibility is the use of a certification authority which could help establish trusted calling rings, where groups of users have their identities checked before being able to contact other members of the group.
Once a user has their identity verified, they are issued with a security pass, allowing them to join the “ring of trust”, as it is dubbed in the industry.
Skype is also looking at ways in which business users can more easily add and delete users from departmental calling groups.