Security threats are being caused due to employees being allowed to download and use peer-to-peer (P2P) technology.

Network Box claims that allowing an open network of users to access PCs on your LAN exploits potential vulnerabilities in the P2P software being used, while downloading a P2P application onto a corporate network could expose corporate files.

Further, there are malware threats and bandwidth issues, while a lack of anonymity and privacy if a user's IP address is identifiable over the P2P network could attract criminals seeking to target a company.

Simon Heron, internet security analyst at Network Box, said: “The threats faced by companies are increasingly complicated to deal with, particularly as consumer technologies are used within a corporate environment, or by remote users.”

The warning comes with the launch of a guide to P2P security, part of Network Box's ‘Securing Social Media' series.

The guide advises blocking the use of P2P on the corporate network where not related to business use, and implementing security guidelines to limit the risk. It also advises companies to block outgoing, as well as incoming, data to prevent applications such as BitTorrent being used to distribute files; and to monitor bandwidth use and network connections closely. Also, if file sharing is allowed on the corporate network, only use a legal, checked service.
“There are simple steps IT managers can take to keep the network secure. We aim to help them do just that by providing the advice in our securing social media guides,” said Heron.