P2P Networks: A Treasure Trove of Data

Apr 15, 2008
2 minutes

ANALYSIS – Music and video are not the only things you can find on P2P networks. Sure, everyone has heard about the massive loss of employee data caused by P2P usage but what about the less publicized loss of personal documents, billing information, and corporate IP? In this InformationWeek article, the author tests P2P networks for himself, searching the popular P2P networks for file types other than music and videos.

The author was able to find personal information, court proceedings, billing data, social security numbers and intellectual property with seemingly relative ease. And it is the ease with which this information is found that should scare users into using extreme caution when installing P2P. As with any software, there is a possibility of configuration errors which may lead to accidental data loss. Don't think it can happen to you – better double check just to be sure, because once the data is out there, it is never coming back.

From a security perspective, P2P applications are notorious in their ability to bypass firewalls by hopping ports and tunneling other applications. And this is all the more reason why a corporate wide P2P usage policy banning or severely limiting its usage be put in place and enforced through best practices that combines technology, training and appropriate personal action notices.

Click here to view the InformationWeek article.

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