Somerset County Council has signed a contract with Internet Security Systems to improve its network security and protect the Council's 4,500 corporate users.

The council is installing the technology amid concerns about the legal implications of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing on its network such as copyright infringements.

It also recognised that increasing volumes of public internet service users - from schools, libraries and the council office network - required more sophisticated protection from web-based threats.

Dave Littlewood, principal network analyst at Somerset says the council has a duty of care and responsibility.

'As we become more and more internet-enabled, people are downloading all sorts of applications. This could potentially have led to quite a lot of inappropriate content and copyright problems,' said Littlewood.

The contract will also provide more flexibility and provide protection for remote workers coming back inside the network.

'This system provides a level of protection against laptops that go outside the network and come back in,' said Littlewood. 'We've got a lot more remote working, a lot more staff moving around, and we had to be more flexible in terms of responding to that requirement.'

The council can allow peer-to peer activity if it has a business benefit, Littlewood says.

'We can now stop VoIP requests, peer to peer requests and online gaming activities. Where there is a business benefit we can allow it, but we can also block the route if needs be as it may provide a route for information to be removed from the authority,' he said.

Source: here
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