Blue Coat™ Systems, Inc. today announced the results of a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing study suggesting nearly 60% of employees are unconcerned the RIAA may take legal action against a company that has copyrighted content on the network. The music and motion picture industries have primarily focused on home users illegally sharing copyrighted material, driving many P2P users to share files from company networks.
A survey of nearly 300 respondents, conducted by Blue Coat in late 2003 and early 2004, suggests that 42% of people continue to use P2P file sharing applications such as Kazaa, Morpheus, BearShare, LimeWire, and clients using Gnutella or FastTrack networking technologies. Among those using P2P file sharing, 39% of users are conducting file sharing on company networks. Additionally, almost half of all respondents did not believe their company had an Internet use policy.
“The enterprise environment appears to be a safe-haven for the use of illegal peer-to-peer file sharing,” said Steve Mullaney, vice president of marketing for Blue Coat. “Employees are not sufficiently worried about their companies getting sued by organizations such as the RIAA or MPAA. In addition to the legal risks created with illegal P2P file sharing, P2P downloading can easily consume 30% of network bandwidth, consume network storage and initiate spyware. It’s time for enterprises to stop letting employees do things that put their business at risk.”
Developing P2P Controls
P2P users are tapping their employer’s networks to download and share copyrighted material. To protect against possible legal liability and to preserve network bandwidth, Blue Coat recommends gaining visibility into all P2P activity on the network, establishing an acceptable Internet use policy across the entire enterprise, and enforcing an acceptable use policy with a proxy appliance. To obtain detailed information on using Blue Coat’s ProxySG™ appliance to control P2P file sharing, Blue Coat customers can access the tech brief “Controlling P2P in the Enterprise” at http://www.bluecoat.com/resources/resourcedocs/techbriefs.html.
To obtain a copy of Blue Coat’s survey data and best practices for developing an acceptable Internet use policy, please visit http://www.bluecoat.com/resources/resourcedocs/whitepapers.html.