Internet Piracy – Is your business protected?

April 14th, 2015

How will increased pressure on online piracy and the downloading and sharing of digital content affect your business? Are your staff breaching copyright?

Not much has been discussed about how the recent crackdown will affect Australian businesses or corporate Australia in general. It appears that ISP’s will eventually be forced to handover contact details for users that have engaged in illegal filesharing and although it is still early days and we are still months away from getting greater clarity.

The question is what is your company policy on internet piracy and cyber security?

Let’s take a simple example of an organisation that has between 50 – 500 staff, whereby 2 or 3 staff are downloading and more importantly sharing and uploading movies and music via BitTorrent or peer to peer (p2p) networks, over the shared office internet connection and as a result are breaching copyright laws. Assuming that the company is not monitoring or tracking what applications are installed on their staffs computers or filtering traffic across the network, what happens in the instance the copyright holder comes knocking on your door issuing breach or copyright infringement notices?
Another worrying situation is the proposed “three strikes” anti-piracy warning system being drafted, three breaches of copyright laws and your internet connection could be blacklisted, how would your business handle having your internet disconnected? It is not certain that ISP’s will be pushed into this extreme course of action, but with the tidal wave of scrutiny piracy is receiving it is a possibility.

This is an extreme case of what might or could happen, but ultimately there is a risk that without the appropriate safeguards in place, to monitor or prevent your staff from downloading illegal material over your network and onto your company computers, there is a risk that your business could be exposed and potentially liable for damages.
Financial damages payable to movie companies have not yet been quantified, the intangible impact that adverse media coverage can have on your brand and your business is also a real threat.
Despite the above, it’s not all doom and gloom, there are measures that your business can take to safeguard against your staff downloading illegal content at work, they include preventing non approved software from being installed on computers, blocking particular websites from being accessed across the network and firewalls which can block specific types of peer to peer (p2p) traffic,

If you are concerned about meta data, internet security, preventing online piracy in your company or trying to mitigate problems associated with your staff accessing or downloading illegal content, CircleBC can help you navigate the minefield, we can assist with security audits, developing a cyber security strategy, penetration testing, incident management and risk assessments.