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SONY seems to be the hardest word to say

June 15, 2011

It’s the question I suspect has been asked of CISOs and Enterprise Security analysts around the world… ‘Could we repel a prolonged, targeted, persistent attack similar to the one that Sony has been subjected to in recent weeks?’  The problem is that until we know the true attack vectors and extent of the breach, it’ll be difficult for any CISO to answer that question with any degree of certainty.

We’ve always said that there is no such thing as a 100 percent secure network and, despite the fact that when Sony CEO Howard Stringer said the same thing he was criticized from all quarters, we’ll keep saying it.  Anybody that says they can offer you a security magic bullet needs to be treated with extreme care.

They say a week, is a long time in politics; a month, it appears, is a lifetime in information security.  Over the last month video game publishers Codemasters, Nintendo and Epic, financial services firm Citibank and defense contractor Lockheed Martin have all seen their networks come under attack.  In some cases the attack was pre-announced.  Over the weekend it was revealed that the IMF also suffered an advanced, targeted and sustained attack, significant enough that its sister agency, the World Bank, completely severed network connectivity with the IMF.

The question that every organization should be asking is whether they have the tools to detect an attack while it is taking place, to identify the vector, method and likely target from the millions of pieces of network security data generated across their environment, and take action to limit the scope of the attack.  Only if the answer to all these questions is yes are the chances of repelling an advanced, persistent attack on their network is greatly improved.

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