Peer to Peer Paranoia
April 15, 2008
From the department of scary facts.
I have always refused to let the kids install Peer to Peer sharing applications on my home computers. Certainly, one part is the illegality of downloading copyright material.
Being in the technology world, the second issue was the risk of data compromise.
It goes to show; no matter how paranoid I am of the security risks in P2P sharing tools – I was not even close to being paranoid enough!
This Information Week article by Avi Baumstein is downright scary.
The results were shocking and scary–loads of confidential business documents and enough personal information to ruin any number of lives and create PR nightmares for quite a few companies. Among the business documents were spreadsheets, billing data, health records, RFPs, internal audits, product specs, and meeting notes
Much of the data found came from smaller business, in some case consultancies and suppliers, who were possibly doing work for larger organizations. Large organizations tend to have more resources to lock down the installation of unnecessary software.
In the SME space – we often don’t.
The end note?
Don’t; use work PC for home use
Don’t; use work PC as the kids playtoy, no matter how much they want to watch some Hannah Montana video
Don’t; let your staff do any of the above
Do; assume that staff, contractors, or consultants may have done it already.
No matter what you have spent on securing your network – allowing this basically means that you have an unsecured network.
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