Do You Support P2P File Sharing Inside the Enterprise


The topic of P2P file sharing inside the enterprise recently came up in a conversation I was having. I count myself as pretty enlightened on these kinds of things, but beyond getting large Linux distros quick or sharing disk images, virtual machines, and virtual appliances, I had a tough time thinking of legitimate reasons an enterprise might support it or even allow it.

The other side of course is that there are bandwidth issues, both network and people. If you're just supporting people watching the latest episode of The Office in the office, then you've not accomplished much. I did a couple of searches on Google trying to find discussion about P2P in the enterprise and mostly found stories about how to block it.

There are, I'm sure, security and legal issues surrounding some of the more notorious uses of P2P file sharing. Has anyone cataloged them and worked out mitigations?

So, what do you think? Is there a legitimate reason for a CIO to support P2P file sharing? What do they tell the CEO or board about it?