Information Security: Understanding and Securing the New Parameters

  • Information security: understanding and securing the new parameters

Information security doesn’t only mean securing the information from unauthorized access but it is the practice of protecting the information from unauthorized use, disclosure, disruption, modification, inspection, destruction, and recording. The information can be of any type may be physical or electrical.

Information can be anything like your data from your social media accounts, your mobile number, or your biometrics. Therefore information security can be traced in many areas like cryptography, cyber forensics, mobile computing, online social media, etc.

During the world war, I, The sensitivity of the information was understood and the way to protect this information was derived.  Thus this gave birth to the Multi-Tier Classification system was developed. And with the onset of world war 2, the alignment of the classification system was also done. The first man to break this information security system was alan turner who successfully decoded the Enigma machine which the Germans used to send secret messages over to each other during the war.

Information security programs are built mainly around three principles and those are, Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability (CIA)

Confidentiality: This means that the information is not disclosed to any person who doesn’t have the authority. For example, if you are signing into something using your username and password you will type it in a way of maintaining the secrecy and don’t share the login information with anyone. This is known as confidentiality.

Integrity: Integrity means maintaining accurate and complete information at any given time. It also means data or information cannot be edited in an unauthorized way. For example, if an employee resigns from the job then his name should be removed from all the departments like accounting and human resources. Doing this task then and there and maintaining fresh informational status is known as integrity.

Availability: This means the information should be accessible at any given time. For example, the H.R manager needs the information of an employee regarding this attendance to see whether he has any outstanding leaves. Then the employee’s information should be available at that time. For this to be done all the departments would work together and keep the availability of information up to date.

Some activities that preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information are granting access only to authorized persons, applying encryption to the information that will be uploaded in a digital format, timely checking computer security to find out new vulnerable points, building a defense barrier for the software and backing up the data so the business can keep running when there is loss of data due to mechanical or human error.

Thus these three elements combine to form the CIA and are the main parameters of Information Security.

Beneath we will get to know how to secure these three parameters of information security.

Bringing confidentiality into practice:

  • Based on the level of security required, categorize the data and assets being handled
  • Data encryption and two-factor authentication should be the basic practice or procedure.
  • Ensuring that the access control list, file permissions, and white lists are always up to date 
  • Training the employees on the consideration of privacy and security on a global level seeing their employee role.

Scoping integrity:

  • Review all the steps are taken to process, transfer, and store the data
  • To maintain integrity data logs, vision control, granular access control, and checksums can be used.
  • Hash functions can be used to prevent the corruption of the data.
  • Understanding the organization’s compliances and regulatory needs.
  • Investing in dependable data backup and recovery solutions so that the information will always be safe.

Ensuring availability:

  • Building preventive measures like redundancy, failover, and redundant
  • Making security audit timely
  • Auto-update or timely update of the software.
  • Use detecting tools like network detect software and antivirus software
  • Reliable cloud-based data backup ensures that the data is always retrievable.
  • Developing a plan to recover and a plan on business continuity in case something bad or data loss happens.

Importance of information security:

Now that we know what a CIA is we will now know why it is important to be implemented in a triad to be effective. The CIA triad helps make sense of diverse security techniques, software, and security options. rather than like a blind shot, it shows a defined path to show what is required to deal with a security concern.

These three concepts work together to form a triad that provides the best information security. For example, requiring elaborate authentication require help to ensure confidentiality, but at the same time, people who don’t have access can’t signup into the system.

As these are forming all information security policies the CIA triad work together to decide on which of the three principles are more required by your organization to segregate the data which is always required.

Implementation of the CIA Triad:

It is not enough only to know the importance of the CIA triad but also the precedence of the three depending upon the various factors. The factors can be anything right from the security goals of the company, nature of the business, industry, and applicable requirements.

For example, we can take the government intelligence service system. Without any questions, confidentiality is the main criterion of such an organization. On the other hand, if we consider a financial system, integration is the main criterion. Whereas the healthcare system requires availability to ensure the saving of lives.

 We should also keep in mind that focusing only on one or two parameters of the CIA will lead to the downfall of others. 

For example, if confidentiality and integrity are needed for an organization then they should give up on speed and other factors. These tradeoffs are not dangerous to an organization as these are done consciously by experts. Thus organizations should decide how to implement the CIA triad into their business based on their requirements.

Conclusion:

When an organization maps out a security program, the CIA triad can serve as an important key that justifies the need for the security control that must be considered. All the security actions taken will lead back to one or more principles of the CIA triad.