Learn more about File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) on the IBM i.
1. Increased security of sensitive data
The number one advantage of File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) is increased security in your database(s). When you look at how data breaches happen, we often see a very similar chain of events. First, the data breach is discovered by someone inside the company, or a third party investigator. Second, the breach was discovered to have happened weeks, if not months ago. Third, the security holes in the IT infrastructure take several more weeks to plug. And finally, the database administrators discover that the breach could have been completely avoided using tools, such as file integrity monitoring. I won’t even go into the subsequent steps which also include data breach notification and paying hefty fines (an average data breach costs $5.5 million, by the way).
FIM allows you to see potentially harmful changes made in your database in real time. FIM helps you to detect early events by monitoring for changes to access controls, configurations, and all sensitive data at both database and application levels. For example, if you are storing social security numbers, credit card numbers, or other personally identifiable information (PII) on your IBM i, you can subject those fields to file integrity monitoring to catch any changes to that data immediately when it happens.
2. Comply with Industry regulations to pass your next audit
You should always know which data security regulations your organization must comply with. PCI DSS directly requires File Integrity Monitoring controls to prevent unauthorized access or changes to sensitive data (section 11.5). File Integrity Monitoring is also a critical component of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) act for publicly traded companies. The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) as well as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) also mention File Integrity Monitoring as a recommended security control.
3. Not a Matter of If, but When
There’s a really, really good reason why governments and industries are imposing more and more stringent data security regulations on both public and private organizations: the number of data breaches occurring every year is not slowing down. It’s speeding up! A common sentiment these days is that a data breach within your company isn’t a matter of “if”, but “when”. Think about it this way: How many times have you received a call from your bank informing you that your credit card has been compromised and they are issuing a new number? Once? Twice? Three times? More? The unfortunate reality is that even though data breaches run rampant like wildfire, many businesses are doing too little or nothing at all to protect their data. When the fire hits your business, I bet you won’t be thinking, “good thing I didn’t waste my time on fire alarms and home owner’s insurance!”
For more information on file integrity monitoring and meeting data security compliance regulations, check out our podcast, “File Integrity Monitoring on the IBM i”, featuring Patrick Townsend, founder and CEO of Townsend Security.