A lot is said about information technology (IT) and how it can help companies and organizations grow. However, not much is said about information security (InfoSec) which plays a vital role in protecting the data from being accessed or altered by unauthorized personnel.
Therefore, in this article, we will look at what InfoSec is all about and the policies and principles that are involved in the protection of data. Click here to find out why policies are important in an organization.
Let’s get started, shall we?
What is Information Security?
Information security (InfoSec) refers to a group of practices that are meant to protect data from being accessed or altered by unauthorized personnel while it is stored as well as when it is transferred from one device or from a physical site to another.
InfoSec is also called data security since it has to deal with securing data. This is pivotal for any organization these days due to the importance of data as a vital commodity.
Is InfoSec the Same as Cyber security?
It isn’t a surprise that this question is one of the popular FAQs that people ask when they talk about InfoSec. This is a result of the term “information technology (IT)” being used to refer to everything computer-related. Hence, the terms “cyber security” and “information security” have been used interchangeably even though they are somewhat different.
Cyber security deals with a wide range of practices that are involved in protecting IT resources from attack. Information security, on the other hand, is one of the disciplines you will find under cyber security. Other practices that are related to InfoSec are application security and network security which deals with app code and networks correspondingly.
Without a doubt, these above-mentioned practices overlap. For example, an unsecured application might negate all the work you’ve put into securing transmitted data. Hence, to fully benefit from information security services, wider cyber security practices must still be carried out.
Principles of InfoSec
The three main principles of InfoSec are collectively referred to as the CIA (confidentiality, integrity, availability) triad. Therefore, we will take a look at each component and find out what they mean and their importance.
Most people first think about this element when they consider InfoSec. It is vital that data remains confidential to only authorized personnel. Therefore, if someone without authorization gains access to data that is supposed to be confidential through any means, then the first principle of InfoSec has been breached.
As a result of this, systems are put in place to ensure that only those with the authorization can access such data. Hence, the systems should possess the ability to identify anyone trying to gain access and effectively block the attempts of people without authorization.
The use of passwords, authentication, encryptions, and protection against infiltration attacks must be set up as part of the techniques that will ensure that data remains confidential.
This principle ensures that data is maintained in the state it was designed to be and is protected from being wrongly modified either maliciously or by accident. Usually, confidentiality techniques aid in maintaining integrity. The simple idea is that as far as the hacker can’t access the evidence, they can’t change it.
Nevertheless, companies must not rely on confidentiality techniques alone but must use tools that will preserve integrity. Some tools that are used include checksums for data integrity verification, control software, as well as frequent backups that can aid in restoring the system to a previous state. Visit https://blogs.manageengine.com/ to find out why data backups are vital for your business.
An interesting concept that integrity covers as well is non-repudiation. This means that data integrity must be proven to have been maintained; this is very necessary when dealing with legal issues.
Availability can be somewhat likened to be the opposite of confidentiality. It is true that unauthorized persons should not have access to the details thanks to confidentiality techniques. However, authorized persons should not encounter difficulties when they try to access that information.
You must be able to match the computing resources and network to your expected data access volume and then execute a perfect backup plan to enable recovery when a disaster occurs. If you are able to do all these, then you would be fulfilling the principle of availability as required.
The application of the above principles in an organization is regarded as the security policy of that organization. This policy isn’t security software or hardware but a document drawn up by the organization to meet the exact needs and oddities of the organization for the purpose of establishing the information that should be secured and the ways wherein it will be secured.
Therefore, these policies act as a guide when it comes to making decisions regarding cyber security and the tools to be procured. Read this article to discover some cyber security tools you can use for your business. It also orders the responsibilities and behavior of employees.
The following apart from others should be found in the InfoSec policy of your organization:
1. A statement that clearly describes the purpose and overall objectives of the program.
2. The definitions of important terms are found in the written document to enable shared understanding.
3. Access control policy that determines those that have access to certain information and how these persons can enforce their authorization.
4. Password policy.
5. Operations and support plan that will ensure the availability of information to authorized persons.
6. The roles as well as responsibilities of employees in terms of protecting information, and establishing the individual with utmost responsibility as far as the InfoSec of the company is concerned.
We should mention that apart from taking your assets into consideration in your policy, you should also consider that of third parties. What we mean is that it isn’t strange that you might have to outsource some services. Hence, it is vital that you determine how you will deal with such scenarios. For example, you should create a plan that will enable you to confirm the access of such third parties when they are in your system or accessing your sensitive info.
InfoSec is vital these days as many companies have been exposed to all sorts of digital risks. Therefore, having the right strategies and techniques in place will ensure that your information remains safe and secure from unauthorized persons.
We believe that what we have shared in this article should provide you with a blueprint that will enable you to build your InfoSec to ensure the safety of your data.