The nightmarish large-scale hack of the PlayStation Network was undoubtedly the biggest challenge Sony had to face in its history. In 2011, the company’s online services were breached by external individuals. The accounts and personal credentials of nearly seventy-seven million consumers were compromised. Sony had to scamper for control, leading to a global outage that lasted for almost a month.

In the months to follow, the company had to not only deal with backlash from the media but also amend its tainted image in the eyes of the world. Speaking with Polygon in a recent interview, Shawn Layden looked back at the incident as a major turning point for the company.

The president of Sony Interactive Entertainment America (SIEA) only took the reigns from Jack Tretton in 2014. At the time, he was still appointed as chief operating officer of PlayStation Network Entertainment. Layden was one of the top brass in the company who had to take the heat but is thankful that the incident took place.

“It took years off my life,” he stated. “If it had to happen to us, I’m glad it happened then. We’ve learned so much from that experience.”

Layden added that the company was in as good a position as it could be at the time. However, the security breach did happen and it took everyone by surprise. It forced the upper echelon to rethink its approach and “we have taken our capabilities in that area to the highest degree possible.”

He noted that the stance is not being complacent or ignorant about the dangers and challenges out there. With improvements to the PlayStation Network since then, Sony believes that it is in a much better place today. “We have had our baptism by fire,” he concluded.

Last week, Sony announced that PlayStation Network has crossed seventy million monthly active users. Despite work put in by the company, Xbox Live is still considered by many as the superior online service when it comes to consoles. This covers the important aspect of download-speed, which many consider as a weak point of the PlayStation Network.