After Playstation Network Hacking Debacle, Sony Beefs Up Security Team

on September 06 2011 12:57 PM

After a rough patch last spring when its Playstation Network service got hacked, Sony is beefing up its security with the hiring of a former federal official.

A report from Reuters says Sony has hired former U.S. Department of Homeland Security official Philip Reitinger as its chief information security officer. Reitinger was previously the director of the U.S. National Cyber Security Center and is a well respected name in the security industry.

His appointment as security chief at Sony comes months after the company dealt with a problematic hacking issue. Members of the hacking collective Anonymous hacked and leaked the names of millions of consumers who were PSN and Qriocity users. The issue forced Sony to shut down the online gaming service for nearly a month from April to May of this year.

Certainly the network issue was a catalyst for the appointment. We are looking to bolster our network security even further, a Sony spokesman said to Reuters.

According to various reports, the outage cost Sony approximately $175 million. Sony's shares also took a huge hit, dropping 55 percent since the incident was first revealed in April.

The company tried to win back consumers with after outage was over with two free games, a month of Qriocity Premium free, free movie rentals for its video unlimited service and protection in case of a future attack. However, the company continues to fight criticism even though the incident happened months ago.

Reitinger, who law degree from Yale Law School and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Vanderbilt University, has a long industry in security. Previously, he's worked for Microsoft where he served as the chief trustworthy infrastructure strategist.

In his two years on the government, Reitinger helped develop national policy regarding the security of the critical information technology infrastructure, government networks and private sector systems.

Follow Gabriel Perna on Twitter at @GabrielSPerna

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