In order to secure your sensitive data while maintaining compliance, you are required to identify real time changes down to the tiniest detail. To detect such real time changes, you have to establish a baseline state that would monitor for any file changes relative to the fixed baseline. However, it is very challenging to keep monitoring every application or device on your network all the time. Moreover, the contemporary networks are too huge and complex to be monitored manually, including those of small and mid-sized organizations. Due to these complications, you need to adopt a solution that enables you to control even the minutest of the server configuration changes, eliminating risks of manual editing. Software or solutions protecting your precious networks from any seen or unforeseen threats are known as File Integrity Monitoring Software.
File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) Software
File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) tool, also termed as change audit, monitors all files in your network and identifies the changes occurred in the files that can potentially risk your sensitive data. The file types monitored by FIM software include configuration files, registry files, executables, file and directory indexes, permissions, and tables. You FIM should not only detect changes but it should also regulate the monitoring by providing exact control over detecting particular changes, and rectifying the issues caused by any such undesirable change in server configuration. More precisely, an ideal File Integrity Monitoring solution should provide you the answers to the following queries:
- Is there any change occurred in server configuration
- Which function/application made this change
- When was this change made
- Who initiated the change
- Before-and-after state of the file
- If the change was authorized or not
Must have File Integrity Monitoring Features:
1. Multiple Platform Support: Select an FIM solution that should be able to support the monitoring of multiple platforms without incompatibility issues. These platforms include Windows, Linux, Solaris, AIX and HP-UX.
2. Easy Integration: Your FIM software should be perfectly consistent with other data security solutions such as data changes with event and data login. Thus, you would be able to quickly identify, trace and relate to the issues causing the particular changes.
3. Extended Perimeter Protection: The scope or range of your FIM system should be inclusive and not exclusive, meaning that it should exceed detecting changes in files and their attributes. Thus, ideal FIM software even considers potential changes in network devices such as firewalls, switches, routers and VPN (virtual private network) concentrates.
4. Smarter Change Detection: Your sophisticated FIM solution should be able to detect the minutest of the changes identifying several attributes related to file beyond just a hash. This additional metadata provides in-depth insight of the true change in file’s nature offering you with exact information even about file owner. This means that an advanced FIM solution is capable of tracing the person ‘who changed the data’.
5. Multi-Level Logging and Simplified Reporting: The modern FIM tools run on entire network rather than just one machine. This provides an integrated view and management of all changes in all servers in a single view. Besides, it should be able to provide high-level reporting of roll-up information and should subsequently enable drilling down volumes of data changes into actionable reports.
6. Simplified Rule Configuration: You FIM software should feature simple methods in defining the monitoring rules for a server of device. Moreover, it should be capable to replicate those rules to many devices across your entire network.
7. Real-Time Monitoring: Your File Integrity Monitoring tool should achieve the best security practices securing the integrity of your IT infrastructure by comparing the Misconfigurations in real time, which are against your internal standards and external policies.