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"If it weren't for Sony's size and reputation, this may have gone unnoticed, or worse, covered up," Westmoreland told us. "Organizations that must be compliant under [various regulatory standards] and require regular testing of controls are in a much better position within the Internet threatscape.
"In some situations a serious breach may shut down the non-compliant organization rather than simply landing them with a fine that is absorbed as an expense and eventually passed along to the consumer. That is what makes organizations take this seriously."
Alex Horan of CORE Security told us he's excited about the reasoning behind the fines. As he sees it, it sends a message that businesses can no longer avoid security testing because they want to be able to say "we didn't know of any issues, so it is not our fault that they exist."
"The ICO said that if a business has some level of technical expertise, then it cannot claim ignorance to the possibility of IT-related risk," Horan said. "Ignorance is no longer a defendable position."
Evan Robert Keiser, security analyst at Perimeter E-Security, told us the fine was long overdue and should have been much larger. He noted that Sony underwent two fairly large lawsuits after the breach because they violated Payment Card Industry compliance by failing to notify PlayStation Network members of a possible security breach and storing members' credit card information for quite some time before releasing information about the full scope of the breach.
"Not only did Sony fail to use firewalls to protect its networks, it was using outdated versions of the Apache Web server with no patches applied on the PlayStation Network during the time of the breach," he said. "They should have spent more money ensuring their own security was up to date and less protecting copyrights as well as pursuing hackers like Geohot who's publishing of their root keys and his own homebrew PS3 software could potentially allow a user to play copied discs."
Posted: 2013-01-26 @ 7:19am PT
That's chump change to them. Not even a slap on the wrist.