Peer-to-peer technology has been vilified to some degree by Napster, but some companies are employing the file distribution technology to deliver substantial business benefits to enterprise customers. In particular, companies like myCIO.com, an NAI subsidiary, have introduced software that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer distribution to beat viruses at their own game.
As more and more businesses move online, the need for security increases. No one is immune from internal or external hackers, or the latest virus. Computer Economics has determined that the economic impact of virus attacks on information systems around the world amounted to $12.1 billion in 1999.
myCIO.com, a managed security provider, has created a service to combat viruses using peer-to-peer distribution. Using peer-to-peer technology, virus update information can be distributed much more efficiently than was previously possible. myCIO.com's service, called Rumor, allows users to share updates for viruses in a matter of minutes, rather than the hours or days that it would typically take an IT manager to distribute it manually throughout a company. And, as companies affected by a virus outbreak can attest, the time it takes to distribute a fix for the latest virus can translate into millions of dollars lost or saved. Peer-to-peer distribution is much more than music swapping; it is a valuable technology that can be leveraged to deliver critical services for business.