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The application-control feature is a free upgrade for those already using the company's Unified Security Gateway (USG), an appliance for controlling instant messaging, VoIP and peer-to-peer applications, among other antispyware and antimalware functions.
While it's easy to simply ban access to social-networking Web sites, organizations are increasingly finding legitimate business uses for those sites, said Nick Sears, FaceTime's vice president of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Sears said FaceTime has heard anecdotes of companies using Facebook to check backgrounds on potential employees, which could necessitate access to certain applications.
"This really isn't about whether MySpace or Facebook should be allowed anymore," Sears said. "It's a more granular issue."
Social-networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo are fostering development platforms so developers can build and sell applications and widgets that deliver some extra functionality to the sites.
MySpace has around 2,000 custom applications, while Facebook's pool has grown to more than 28,000, Sears said. Some of those applications may have features that could pose security risks, such as directing users to spyware.
Others may simply be time-wasters for employees, such as gaming and online dating applications. When the USG filter is used, employees who load up their MySpace profile can see a blank space and a warning that a particular application won't function from the workplace.
FaceTime's USG starts at US$3,495 for 100 users for one year with maintenance. The appliance also supports certain controls for other social-networking sites, such as Bebo, LinkedIn and Facebook.