Websense says P2P sites soared fivefold in 2003

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The numbers of peer-to-peer (P2P) websites and services increased fivefold during 2003, according to research from Websense, the employee internet management specialist.

Because of this increase, the firm is warning companies of the the need for renewed vigilance in monitoring, as well as eliminating, the use of P2P services on company networks.

P2P services, the firm says, are a minefield of security and legal liability risks, and only serve to degrade employee productivity, as well as using bandwidth and storage resources.

Geoff Haggart, the firm's European vice president,said P2P software and service users often download more than they bargain for when they download an apparently innocuous Britney Spears video.

They may, he said, actually be opening an avenue of attack for hackers.

Haggart's warning comes as the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) announced it is taking legal action against more than 200 song-swappers across Europe.

The move follows similar action against around 2,000 song-swappers in the US by the IFPI and other allied organisations.

Despite earlier indications that the UK would be high on the IFPI's action list, this week's announcement relates to impending lawsuits against song-swappers in Denmark, Germany and Italy.

Web... www.ifpi.org

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