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Risk

3/17/2008
12:17 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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P2P Points To Plenty Of Business Problems

Turns out the problems with peer-to-peer file-sharing goes way beyond piracy. A new investigative piece indicates that there's plenty of business and personal data afloat on P2P networks.

Turns out the problems with peer-to-peer file-sharing goes way beyond piracy. A new investigative piece indicates that there's plenty of business and personal data afloat on P2P networks.Avi Baumstein's Informationweek look at file-sharing's potential for business (and personal) disaster should be must-reading for you, your employees and colleagues -- and everyone else who uses a computer.

Leaving aside for a moment the ethics of P2P file-sharing, Baumstein's piece, and, from a couple of days earlier, John Foley's just as frightening examination of P2P business data leaks document the mass of business and personal data that gets onto P2P nets alongside illegal copies of next weekend's hit movie or song.

The writers found everything from social security numbers to proprietary designs, compensation data and home addresses.

The explanations offered for the amount of sensitive data that gets P2P'd are fairly simple, most of them resting on user sloppiness or carelessness in setting file-sharings preferences and accesses.

Which doesn't excuse the problem, and doesn't do anything to eliminate the potentially catastrophic info-leaks waiting to be file-shared.

Clearly, you shouldn't allow file-sharing of copyrighted material on your to take place on company equipment (or time.) But that no-brainer is starting to look far too conservative.

P2P of any sort in the workplace is looking more and more like an idea that needs to be deleted completely.

 

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