Sony has been in the news recently regarding a quarter of a million UK pound fine ($395K) levied by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

This was because of a breach of the Data Protection Act that allowed millions of UK gamers’ details to be made available online, including names, addresses, email addresses, dates of birth and account passwords. Credit card details were also at risk, the ICO said following an investigation.

It affected systems running the PlayStation Network (PSN) back in April 2011.

According to the ICO, if the latest security patches had been applied to the system software, then the data breach could not have occurred.

This could have been prevented had the IT staff responsible regularly run a network security tool such as GFI LanGuard, which guarantees that security patches are applied in a timely manner.

For as little as $10 per monitored IP for a 250 IP network, GFI LanGuard offers three vital services:

1)      Vulnerability assessment checks the network against a frequently updated database of known vulnerabilities that may be exploited by hackers

2)      Patch management ensures that the latest security and non-security patches are applied to servers, workstations, laptops on your network; both Windows and Mac OS X machines are supported

3)      Network auditing discovers all the hardware and installed software on your network and can flag open ports, unexpected users and groups and detect unauthorized applications being installed and extra devices being added by comparing the network to a known safe baseline.

GFI LanGuard helps to prove compliance to security standards which can protect companies from being fined, and costs a tiny fraction of the quarter of a million that companies like Sony have experienced.

It is a false economy not to invest in such a tool, which brings benefits of comprehensive network security and increased productivity for your IT staff and end users, in addition to setting your mind at ease over compliance.

Learn more about GFI LanGuard 2012 or start your 30-day trial today!