File Integrity Monitoring, or FIM for short, is the name given to IT security processes and technology that has been designed to examine and identify when particular components have become corrupted or been tampered with. FIM solutions can be used to inspect software files, a database or even an operating system (OS).

FIM solutions work to create a trusted baseline for every file, so they can conduct audits of any alterations made to the data by measuring against this criteria. If the FIM solution finds a file has been corrupted, tampered with or simply revised, it will issue an alert so that the event can be investigated and action taken.

Implementing an enterprise FIM solution

The following are five individual steps firms can take to deploy an FIM strategy:

1. Define your policy

Any FIM solution starts with creating policies. In this initial step, an enterprise decides what file types it must monitor and the sort of changes that could impact this data. It also needs to nominate a person of responsibility who will be alerted and act.

2. Establish file baselines

Based on a firm’s chosen policy, the FIM solution then scans the chosen files retained and used by the company and creates a baseline of them. Businesses may find that compliance standards and regulations require this file baseline to be officially documented, so it can be presented during data audits. Typically, the baseline will display the version number, along with a modification or creation date and a checksum, as well as specific data that IT pros can employ for verification of file validity.

3. Monitor

After all files have baselines recorded, the FIM solution must monitor all data records continuously for any alterations. Business processes commonly demand that files are updated or changed legitimately, which will naturally lead to multiple false positives being generated by the FIM. However, there are methods of mitigating this scenario. Admins can predefine certain rules, instructing the FIM solution on certain changes it can expect or allow. The solution can also employ behavioural analysis to assess if an alteration is an anomaly that requires investigation or is part of a normal process that does not constitute a threat to the system.

4. Issuing alerts

Any important or unauthorised alterations detected by the FIM system will generate alerts to those responsible for data security, like CISOs, IT teams and server admins.

5. Results reported

The FIM will create reports periodically, illustrating activity and alterations to company files. Reports may be utilised internally or kept for as part of a compliance process.

At Galaxkey, our secure system can streamline security processes, allowing enterprises to keep private data records and sensitive file safe. Featuring a three-layer encryption option, you can ensure the data you store and send matches your established baselines. If alterations take place during data transfer, alerts will be generated so recipients know whether documentation has been interfered with. To make certain your files stay secure, contact us today for an online demonstration.