Security vendors, beginning to take the spread of peer-to-peer applications seriously, are marshaling their forces on two fronts in an effort to protect both P2P users and their employers.
Check Point Software Technologies Inc. and McAfee.com Corp. this week have announced new P2P security initiatives, taking different tacks in their quest to catch up to the boom in file-sharing applications.
The security vendors are more than a little late to the P2P party. Applications such as Napster, Kazaa, Grokster and others have been popular with music-loving Internet users for several years, and many users take advantage of their employers high-speed connections to download files at work.
This activity not only eats up expensive bandwidth, but also presents several potential security problems. Chief among these issues is the possibility of a worm or virus burrowing into the corporate network via an infected file downloaded from a file-sharing network. There have been several viruses in the last year that specifically targeted P2P applications.
To defend against this threat, McAfee.com over the last week has announced partnerships and distribution agreements with several of the largest P2P file-sharing networks, including Kazaa, Grokster and BearShare. Each of the services will include the companys SecurityCenter client in downloads of their own software.
Users will have the ability to purchase or get a free trial of McAfee.coms other products as well.
For its part, Check Point on Wednesday announced that it is adding technology to its FireWall-1 product that will control P2P and instant-messaging applications. Using the companys stateful inspection technology, the firewall can separate P2P and IM traffic from other HTTP traffic and apply granular inspection and access control to these applications.
The new functionality will be included in Feature Pack 3 for FireWall-1, available in September.
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