Step-by-step guide: Blocking IM and P2P

In the wrong hands, IM and P2P file sharing can be too much of a risk for your organization. There are many ways to block this traffic, but some are more elegant -- with fewer adverse effects -- than others. Contributor Serdar Yegulalp details the process in this step-by-step guide.

Organizations of all sizes are compelled to do what they can to keep unwanted software from proliferating on their...

networks. Instant messenger and file-sharing programs pose two of the thorniest risks: The former can be a security hazard, and the latter is a bandwidth hog. Sometimes what makes the situation difficult to deal with is not that programs like IM and P2P are hard to block or keep from being installed, but that some organizations actually need them to be present in certain controlled ways.

In this article I'll be talking about different techniques you can use to block the access to and the use of unwanted file sharing or instant messenger client software. Some of these approaches may work better for your organization than others, so read for flavor.

Blocking IM and P2P

 Home: Introduction
 Step 1: The "easy, but stupid" approach
 Step 2: The "block the nexus" approach: IM
 Step 3: The "block the nexus" approach: P2P
 Step 4: The "block the application" approach

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    Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter. Check it out for the latest advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators -- and please share your thoughts as well!

    Copyright 2005 TechTarget
    This was first published in January 2006

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