How to Provide Protection Against P2P File Sharing Vulnerabilities

P2P file sharing programs are used by organizations that desire to provide communications between users within the network. P2P file sharing is also known as a peer to peer network which allows users to exchange data, share information, use directory services and use real-time communications tools.

P2P applications are software that is designed to provide shared services within a network. Because P2P is software, there are many different ways that criminals with malicious intent can attempt to access the applications through security holes in the software.

P2P Activity Detection

Recognizing a malicious attack on a P2P network can be challenging due to the fact that some of the malicious software is designed specifically to avoid detection by the administrator. However, there are several ways that it is possible to detect an intrusion.

  • Changes in Network Performance: You may notice changes in network performance that can be indicative of unauthorized P2P use and malware infections. Changes can include an obvious slowing down of the system speed, unexplained events that are out of the ordinary, mysterious events in network files and functions.

  • Intrusion Detection: The intrusion detection system that is deployed by the organization recognizes unauthorized P2P traffic.

  • Host Based Intrusion Prevention: If the organization employs a host-based intrusion prevention software, the auditing tools can identify unauthorized applications that have been installed within the network.

P2P Activity Protection

  • Firewall Monitoring: It is important to have a solid firewall monitoring system in place which monitors all IDS logs. This includes monitoring the system for the presence of unknown files and unauthorized modifications.

  • Antivirus Programs: Make sure the antivirus program you are using is from a reputable company and contains an anti-spyware and anti-adware program. It should also be capable of checking for updates and performing network scans on a regular basis.

  • Egress Filtering: Enable Egress filtering to provide restriction on ports that are not being used for business purposes. This will prevent unauthorized access to the network through these ports.

  • Host-Based Firewalls: Use host-based firewalls to supplement the primary network firewall. These are firewalls that are included with the Windows operating systems.

  • Establish a Policy: Establish an organization policy for using the file sharing network and educate the users on the security risks of performing file sharing.

These are a few of the security measures you can use to protect a P2P file sharing network against vulnerabilities and exploits. As technological innovations grow, so will the security risks and the susceptibility to malicious attacks.

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