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I recently read a blog about ChoicePoint and the ongoing coverage of their business, especially after 13,750 people had their personal information compromised. Tina Stow, who seems to represent ChoicePoint, left a comment on the blog stating:

“We have several monitoring tools and the one in question was not intentionally switched off. Due to human error for which the Company took appropriate action, one of our monitoring tools was temporarily and mistakenly turned off for a four month period. The other monitoring tools and our information security program were working. We have added redundancies to try to prevent future human error.”

4 months?!!? Holy cow! If a “monitoring tool” is unintentionally switched off for 1/3 of an ENTIRE YEAR and no one notices, I wonder what else has been going on that went unnoticed. No wonder they had a breach! That statement reminds me of clients that never see brute force attacks on their systems simply because they never review logs. Whatever the reason that the said system was not discovered to be down or malfunctioning, a core deficiency exists within the system and/or process(es) surrounding it; or the statement presented simply lacks validity.

With that being said, you can buy the latest, greatest, or most expensive tools, systems, and software out there, but unless installed, configured, and used in a correct or proper manner, do you little to no good. It’s like putting in a web application firewall without having it “learn” your web application, or dropping in a firewall with any/any rules in place; it will only get you so far. Unfortunately, it may have earned a “checkmark” or opportunity to issue a press release saying “we did something”.