“What is advanced FIM – file integrity monitoring? Leading FIM tools all inspect more than just files, they detect threats, prompt rapid response, and provide a foundation for compliance.”
When there’s turnover and shortage of training, skills or personnel, companies turn to software, SaaS, and process automation from the cloud to help them run, manage and secure their computing environments. File integrity monitoring, or FIM, is the relevant practice of automatically validating the integrity of operating system and application software by verifying a current file’s state against an established baseline.
The logic of FIM is you use software to inspect files and file logs and determine what changed, which can act as a quick remedy for the cybersecurity skills shortage. FIM is a technical requirement, not just an option, for doing business. PCI-DSS, NIST, and JSIG frameworks and regulations require file integrity monitoring explicitly via prescriptively defined requirements; HIPAA, GDPR, and others call for FIM as part of their performance requirements. Safe to say, file integrity monitoring is among the most valuable security and compliance capabilities today.
What Does FIM Do?
Leading FIM tools do all or most of the following (the key thread is they do more for you than just straight FIM):
- Detect threats and prompt rapid response versus just logging incidents. There’s no shortage of log files for the security operations center (SOC) to inspect, either manually or automatically. You want technology to do intelligent filtering out in front, integrating deep detection that’s built in by developers (DevSecOps) before the malware or malice reaches the main office. This will not only result in lower SIEM costs, but also decrease response time, and put less strain on the network and firewall.
- Inspect more than just files. A good FIM tool should monitor more than just the files and data stores containing sensitive data. It should also monitor configuration information and software native to the operating system, like registries, binary files, and libraries, as well as infrastructure components like the configuration of network and cloud devices, web servers, and firewalls. All this should be monitored in real-time. The solution can check the system for malware and rootkits, shield the workload from vulnerabilities, manage firewall policies, track and record system and file changes, and maintain forensics copies of these changes.
- Reduce noise and SIEM infoglut management costs. A leading FIM tool enables you to select thresholds and the files you want to monitor, and filters out the less important stuff. This empowers more accurate detection, which should include known threats and evolving ones as well. Keep your organization safer and more compliant with privacy laws, while relieving the toll of manually searching file logs and the overall cost of SIEM.
- Reduce agent fatigue. How many different security programs does your average company have running on its most private servers and computing devices? Often, it’s a lot, several or more. We call this agent fatigue and the disparate security system agents don’t always work well together to protect your data and apps. What’s more, they all cost money. Wouldn’t it be nice to have just one type of agent to manage, with both FIM and the other security functions built-in or enabled?
- Comply with standards and regulations such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, Hitrust, NIST 800-53, NIST 800-171, NERC CIP, CIS, and GDPR. File integrity monitoring is essential toward making sure breaches and unauthorized changes are detected in your environment and toward generating artifacts to respond to regulatory requirements. Maintain the integrity of your files and database and server environments so you can find information when you need it and be ready for a records audit.
- And more.
Get the FIM Whitepaper
Threat tactics like DoS, Trojan horses, malware, social engineering, redirected traffic, and others bombard enterprise attack surfaces, and it’s difficult to operate in today’s cloud based environments without risk of infiltration and deep damage. FIM is a sound method of protecting your assets and data toward safer security outcomes and improved compliance objectives.
Smart security and compliance starts with strong endpoint protection and extends to protection of cloud workloads. This kind of security takes versatility, and Atomicorp agents can enable you to orchestrate security across not only your devices but your virtual machines.
Explore six security, compliance, and business advantages organizations of any size can garner from FIM.
Read the FIM whitepaper.
Atomic OSSEC is available on premises or as a managed service offering.
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