Blocking Is a Simple Answer, but Difficult Solution

By Brian Prince  |  Posted 2008-04-25 Print this article Print

There is of course a simple answer to the problem-block P2P applications. However, Gartner analyst Peter Firstbrook noted that it is not easy to block all of them, and users actively look for ways to avoid the blocks, such as using laptops when they are out of the network. In addition, data loss prevention tools are not widely deployed, he said.

"[DLP tools] are mostly just monitoring versus blocking to avoid blocking legit business, so it is a bit like [closing] the proverbial barn door after the horse," Firstbrook said. "A well-configured DLP solution should catch P2P leaks, but that is not deployed in most organizations."

For companies, anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of the confidential files disclosed on P2P file-sharing networks originate from sources outside the corporate perimeter, such as suppliers, contractors, attorneys, partners, and employees working from home or on the road, Boback said.

"These endpoints are almost impossible for a company to control," he said, referring to those third-party sources as the extended enterprise. "An organization must take an extended enterprise view because very often the information custody chain extends outside their four-walled perimeter security approaches."


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