Security Information & Event Management Blog | SIEM

FIM for Service Reliability, Security, Compliance and... Gamers!

gamerNo, I'm not a gamer but...

I did read an article (Sony confirms external attack brough down PlayStation Network - Dean Takahashi, April 22, 2012) on GAMESBEAT this morning that talks about the recent crash of the Sony PlayStation Network. In the article Sony points the finger at Anonymous and Anonymous denies it was to blame, even going so far as to label the media giant "incompetent."

Those of us outside of the walls of the Sony infrastructure may never know who is to blame but one thing is for sure: The PlayStation Network was down for a couple of days last week and availability has been sporadic over the past week. Sony has taken the platform offline a couple of times since for "a health check" and PS gamers aren't happy. If this was an isolated instance, I'm sure gamers would be more sympathetic but last year the network went down for several weeks after a massive attack.

By no means am I placing blame on this most recent outage being the fault of Sony but one has to wonder why they took so long to issue a statement in the most recent outage. It's almost as if this latest reliability issue came at them right out of the blue. I have to wonder what their file integrity monitoring (FIM) policy is. I'm sure they have one (maybe) and I'm sure there are administrators assigned to it (absolutely) who have a systematic approach to ensuring service reliability (they'd be foolish not to!).

FIM is designed to preserve the perfect state of an organization's IT applications infrastructure. Ideally, you take a snapshot of the perfect state and monitor critical files that ensure that state's reliability and if there are any anomalous or unscheduled changes an alert is issued and it is investigated.

Every day we read about another breach/hack/failure that results in lost revenue opportunity and disappointed customers. FIM is only one ingredient in the reliability, security and compliance recipe, but it's absolutely critical. Now is a good time to think about your FIM policy and the cost of downtime should you have a breach/hack/failure. We have a 10-steps-to-improved-FIM white paper for download that can help you with that.

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