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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

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