Monday, 2 May 2011
Sony has today started what it has termed a "Phased Restoration" of its Playstation Network and Qriocity services after a malicious system hack forced them to be shut down for over a week.
During a press conference in Tokyo yesterday, both Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) and Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI) announced that they will shortly begin to turn on their gaming, music and video services region by region.
Sony has also implemented stricter security measures since the cyber attack, including creating a new company position called the Chief Information Security Officer, whose role it will be to to supplement existing information security personnel in ensuring the safety of customer data.
Furthermore, Sony have added automated software monitoring and configuration management to help defend against new attacks, enhanced the levels of data protection, encryption, and the ability to detect software intrusions within the network, unauthorized access and unusual activity patterns, as well as having implemented additional firewalls.
PS3 gamers will undergo a system update whereby they will have to re-register their Username and password before they are allowed access to the Playstation Network. There are also plans to move the existing network system to another secret location, which according to Sony, had been under construction for several months prior to the attack.
It was originally feared that customers' credit card information was also at risk, but Sony have since announced that this is impossible as customers credit card details are subject to encryption and were therefore not at risk.
Nevertheless, the same cannot be said for users' personal details, which were not subject to encryption at the time of the intrusion. However, Sony insists that lessons have been learned from the attack and the company has pledged that it will work even harder to ensure the safety of its online services.
Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President of the Sony Corporation said: "Our global audience of PlayStation Network and Qriocity consumers was disrupted. We have learned lessons along the way about the valued relationship with our consumers, and to that end, we will be launching a customer appreciation programme for registered consumers as a way of expressing our gratitude for their loyalty during this network downtime, as we work even harder to restore and regain their trust in us and our services."
Nevertheless, the cyber attack, which placed almost 77 million customers' personal details at risk, could have done untold damage to Sony's reputation and may even impact the reputation of other similar online networks in the future.
The question that many gamers will now be asking is: Is it enough to be wise after the event when it comes to personal security, or should Sony have taken more stringent measures to prevent such a security breach in the first place?
Let us know your thoughts on this subject by leaving a comment in the Mini Gamers comment box. We'd love to hear from you.