Employees not wishing to get into legal trouble may choose to access questionable or illegal Internet content at work. Employers can protect against liability from such actions by their employees by implementing a solution to block this activity, and it is becoming increasingly important to do so as intellectual property owners are taking action against these activities.

Film Studios Crackdown on Illegal Downloads

When networks are used for illegal activities, action can be taken against the owners of those networks and the film and music industries have been particularly active in recent years as they attempt to stamp out piracy and copyright infringement. Several lawsuits have been filed against VPN providers over the use of their services for downloading pirated content. This month TorGuard settled a lawsuit filed by more than two dozen film studios over the use of its network for downloading pirated content and similar lawsuits have been filed against LiquidVPN and VPN.ht.

Lawsuits against individuals who download illegal content often do not make it to the courts due to the difficulty of proving that an individual downloaded copyright-infringing content on a particular IP address, but action is increasingly being taken for pirated movie downloads. Illegal downloads of the film Ava saw action taken by the movie studio Voltage Holdings LLC, which obtained a court order from broadband provider Virgin Media to release the details of customers who had downloaded the film.

In Canada, at least 17 lawsuits have recently been filed over copyright-infringing movie downloads, with more than 1,000 individuals named in the lawsuits. Some of those individuals have been ordered to pay $5,000 in damages for downloading films such as A Family Man and London Has Fallen. When multiple downloads of such material are occurring at a business, legal action could be taken against that business for failing to prevent the illegal activity.

Software Companies Take Action Over Unlicensed Software Use

It is not only pirated software downloads that can attract legal action. Siemens has taken action over copyright infringement related to the use of its software such as NX, Solid Edge, Femap, Star CCM, and FloTHERM. 142 users were identified as using unlicensed software and are the subject of the lawsuit. Software illegally downloaded and used by businesses can see damages imposed at many times the value of the software. While most businesses would not download unlicensed software, that may not be the case with all of their employees. Employees often choose to download software from file-sharing websites to help them be more efficient at work. Termed shadow IT, this practice not only exposes employers to legal risk, but there is also a very real cybersecurity risk.

Prevent Copyright-Infringing Downloads and Improve Cybersecurity with a Web Filter

Pirated software, and the associated product activators and cracks, are often bundled with malware, which is silently installed along with the pirated software. The malware can provide threat actors with remote access to corporate devices, and those devices can then be used for more extensive cyberattacks on the business. IT departments often discover unauthorized software has been installed on users’ devices when performing upgrades, software installations, repairs, and audits.

Businesses can protect against these illegal activities by employees by using a web filtering solution to block access to websites where pirated material is downloaded. There are also many other benefits of filtering the Internet and preventing access to certain types of web content.

Businesses can prevent the development of a hostile working environment by blocking access to content such as pornography, and they can ensure sufficient bandwidth is always available by restricting access to certain sites during busy times or working hours – YouTube for example.

The biggest benefit of implementing a web filter is blocking malicious websites, such as those known to be used for phishing and malware delivery. WebTitan Cloud, for instance, is fed threat intelligence from more than 650 million users worldwide. When a threat is identified, the solution is automatically updated to protect all users from accessing the malicious content.

Since WebTitan Cloud is a DNS-based web filter, there is no impact on Internet speed. Checks are performed at the DNS lookup stage of a web request, with content checked against databases and filtered in 5 microseconds.  The solution can be configured to protect all users, including remote workers. The protection is applied no matter where the Internet is accessed.

If you want to protect your business from the legal risk associated with Illegal web activity, improve your defenses against phishing and malware, and make productivity gains by blocking access to non-essential Internet content, WebTitan Cloud is the ideal solution.

Since WebTitan Cloud is a multi-tenant solution, it is also ideal for MSPs looking to add web filtering to their service stacks. MSPs are offered generous margins, the product can be provided in white-label form ready to take their own branding, and a choice of hosting options are available, including hosting within an MSP’s data center.

For more information, contact TitanHQ for more information on DNS-based web filtering with WebTitan Cloud.