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August 17, 2009

P2P represents serious security threat

by David Masters

Allowing employees to use peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing services could pose a serious threat to your business’s IT security, Network Box warned this week.

The unified threat management (UTM) specialist said security threats from P2P include vulnerabilities in the P2P software, the potential for corporate files to be exposed or compromised, and the risk of malware or trojan downloads.

Using P2P software also makes a business an easy target for cyber criminals, as it gives away the user’s IP address.

“The threats faced by companies are increasingly complicated to deal with, particularly as consumer technologies are used within a corporate environment,” said Simon Heron, Network Box internet security analyst.

“But there are simple steps IT managers can take to keep the network secure.”

Network Box recommends blocking outgoing and incoming data files to prevent employees using applications such as BitTorrent, closely monitoring bandwidth use by user, and monitoring network connections.

In addition, security systems should be kept up to date, and employees should be educated on the risks of using P2P software, Network Box said.

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