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News

P2P disabling for protection from data theft

ForeScout Technologies : 03 March, 2009  (New Product)
CounterACT network protection enables peer-to-peer pipelines to be blocked preventing users from putting corporate networks at risk from data loss
ForeScout Technologies has announced that CounterACT is helping corporate enterprises and federal organisations protect against data theft over peer-to-peer pipelines.

"Yesterday's news of how a military contractor unwittingly exposed blueprints for President Obama's Marine One helicopter to a cyber thief in Iran, shows why - especially in mission critical networks - mandates against the download and use of peer-to-peer file-sharing programs must be actively enforced," said Gord Boyce, President of ForeScout Technologies. "With CounterACT, any P2P program running on any IP device on your network can be automatically discovered, shutdown, and de-installed in real-time, with or without notification to the end-user."

Peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing programs - typically used to exchange music files on-line - effectively allow worldwide access to the user's hard drive. This can lead to potentially serious security breaches, such as the one involving President Barack Obama's Marine One helicopter, where engineering, financial and communications information about the helicopter - stolen from a defence contractor's laptop over P2P - was traced to an IP address in Tehran, Iran.

CounterACT has the ability to see every IP device connected to the network, control all connections down to the switch port, and provide complex policies to enable and enforce security processes and standards. Access control is performed without the need to first deploy 802.1x, and enforcements can include actions such as peer-to-peer shutdown, post-connection monitoring for threat prevention, and detection/blocking of banned devices (such as USBs).

In addition, ForeScout CounterACT's unique ActiveResponse technology is specifically designed to stop threats from within, well before the network is compromised. By focusing on proven attacker intent, CounterACT can block attackers before they gain access to the network without the need for signatures, deep-packet inspection or manual intervention.

"As we saw with this most recent federal data theft, organisations must be prepared to defend their network against cyber espionage by detecting and eliminating the kinds of applications that are prone to data leaks," said Boyce. "ForeScout CounterACT is able to control access and protect the network ... both inside and out, ensuring that only the right people with the right authorisation gain access to the right network resources at all times."
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