Sony's Shame Boosts Guidance Software

Sony story updated with following clarification: Sony says that it is working with Guidance, Protiviti and Data Forté to resolve the PlayStation breach.

PASADENA, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Sony's ( SNE) ongoing security problems may have heaped further embarrassment on the Japanese entertainment giant, but the fiasco is likely good news for security specialist Guidance Software ( GUID).

Sony is using Guidance's products to catch the hackers that recently breached its PlayStation Network. The company's security, however, remains in the spotlight following a second data breach, which targeted Sony Online Entertainment division.
Sony's latest data breach has thrust Guidance Software into the spotlight.

" This is a ringing endorsement for Guidance," said Roger Kay, an analyst at Endpoint Technologies, in an email to TheStreet. "This high profile case will definitely give the company a boost."

Guidance touts itself as the "world leader in digital investigations" and said that its EnCase software has already been used in hundreds of thousands of cases. The EnCase product family includes digital forensic software, which compiles evidence from an array of technologies including hard disk drives, memory, workstations, chat sessions and backup files.

The software maker, however, declined to provide comment for this story when contacted by TheStreet.

Guidance, which reports its first-quarter results after market close Thursday, recently revealed that a number of U.S. Federal Agencies are using EnCase products, including the Department of Defense, the Treasury Department and the Army.

Guidance's shares have risen almost 27% over the last 12 months, although they closed down 6 cents, or 0.8%, at $7.45 on Wednesday.

Sony is also working with business consultancy Protiviti, a subsidiary of Robert Half International ( RHI), to clean up after the breach, according to Reuters. It also uses privately-held data forensics specialist Data Forté.

Sony confirmed to TheStreet that it is working with these three companies on the PlayStation breach. Data Forté, however, has not yet responded to TheStreet's request for comment on this story. Protiviti declined to comment.

Sony has again been slammed by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) for its ongoing data problems. In a letter sent to Sony management on Tuesday, Blumenthal voiced his concern about the "egregious inadequacy" of the company's efforts to provide protection for users.

"Sony's failure to adequately warn its customers about serious security risks is simply unconscionable and unacceptable," he added.

Blumenthal first sent a letter to Sony on April 26, voicing his concern about the company's initial data breach.

Last week, Sony warned its 77 million users that private account details, like their passwords, names, and credit cards, may have been compromised after the PlayStation Network was breached.

In a letter sent to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce this week, Sony said that it is implementing a number of measures to prevent future breaches. These include automated software monitoring and configuration management, enhanced levels of encryption and additional firewalls.

Sony will also be naming a new Chief Information Security Officer who will report directly to the company's Chief Information Officer, it said.

Sony shares closed down 6 cents, or 0.21%, at $28.38 on Wednesday.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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