Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Blocking peer-to-peer applications

Now that I have discussed the dangers of peer-to-peer applications, I want to shift the focus of my discussion to blocking these types of applications. Unfortunately, I can't give you specific instructions. There are dozens of different peer-to-peer applications, and each one acts a little differently. The other reason why I can't give you specific instructions is because every network is set up differently. What I can tell you is that your best defense against peer-to-peer applications is to exercise defense in depth. This means that you shouldn't depend on one single mechanism to block peer-to-peer applications; instead, use a combination of defense mechanisms.

It may sound strange to think that you would need an entire arsenal of security mechanisms just to block an application, but file-sharing programs are no ordinary applications. Many of them are specifically designed to circumvent the usual security defenses.

Blocking peer-to-peer applications

 Home: Introduction
 Step 1: Blocking peer-to-peer applications
 Step 2: Firewalls
 Step 3: Application-level filters
 Step 4: Software restriction with Group Policy

Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Windows 2000 Server and IIS. He has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once in charge of IT security for Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, he has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit his personal Web site at
Copyright 2005 TechTarget

This was first published in July 2006

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