Reveals 43% of BitTorrent applications on corporate networks contain malicious software

BitSight Technologies has released a new Insights report titled, “Peer to Peer Peril: How BitTorrent File Sharing Impacts Vendor Risk and Security Benchmarking,” which examined BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing activity of over 30,700 companies that BitSight rated for security performance, the company said.

BitSight also announced a new file sharing analysis module for the BitSight Security Ratings Platform that assesses the risk posed by BitTorrent and other file sharing usage among vendors in a supply chain.

BitSight´s analysis looked at the percentage of P2P downloads containing malware, the top torrented applications and games on corporate networks and the correlation between file sharing and compromised machines via botnet infections.

In addition, the report compared file sharing activity and protocol of 10 industries including –Finance, Retail, Healthcare, Energy/Utilities, Government, and Education. BitSight uncovered that 43 percent of applications and 39 percent of games contained malicious software that could infect corporate and vendor networks — highlighting that P2P file sharing can pose a major security threat to organizations and their vendors.

In conjunction with the release of this report, BitSight announced a new File Sharing module within its Security Ratings platform that allows customers to monitor and assess BitTorrent peer-to peer file sharing activity on their network as well as third party vendor networks. An overview of observed file sharing activity including applications, books, games, movies, music, TV and other files is now available to all customers using the BitSight platform.

BitSight uses publicly accessible data to rate companies´ security performance on a daily basis. Observed security events and configurations, such as communication with a botnet, malware distribution, and email server configuration, are assessed for severity, frequency and duration, and used to generate objective, accurate, and actionable Security Ratings. BitSight Security Ratings range from 250 to 900, with higher ratings equating to higher security performance. Industry ratings are calculated using a simple average of the BitSight Security Ratings of companies in that sector.

BitSight Technologies provides objective, evidence-based security ratings. It analyzes vast amounts of external data on security behaviors in order to help organizations manage third-party risk, benchmark performance, and assess and negotiate cyber insurance premiums. Based in Cambridge, MA, BitSight is backed by the National Science Foundation, Globespan Capital Partners, Menlo Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners, Comcast Ventures, Commonwealth Capital Ventures, and Liberty Global Ventures.