Information Security: Principles and Classifications
Today, many businesses focus on building a complete system to protect confidential information within the organisation. One of the reasons for such a strategy is the cyber-driven world, where the risk of data breaches accompanies the growing field of information technology.
Hence it is essential to have an understanding of information security, its principles, and the varied risk.
What is Information Security?
Information security or InfoSec is the measure taken by organisations to protect information from cyberattacks and security violations. This is achieved by a range of policy settings, preventing unauthorised access to business information.
Information security is evolving as it protects an organisation from malware, ransomware, phishing, and different virus attacks.
Principles of Information Security
Confidentiality, integrity, and availability are the core information security principles (CIA). Together, these three principles are read as the CIA triad. These three principles help maintain the core requirement of InfoSec for the safe storage, utilisation, and transmission of information.
Here is more information on these principles.
Confidentiality aims at protecting information from unofficial broadcasting and unauthorised access to people. The goal here is to keep sensitive data confidential and guarantee its access by authorised individuals with relevant rights. Cryptography is used to maintain confidentiality.
Data integrity aims to maintain the information’s consistency, accuracy, and authenticity. Also, it seeks to continuously safeguard data from being altered.
The third principle reflects the ease, through which authorised individuals can easily read the data with minimum interruptions. The main purpose of availability is to provide data, technological infrastructure, and applications when the organisation needs them.
Data stored on the cloud is an example of availability. Herein authorised individuals can easily access data from any device connected to the system.
Together these three InfoSec principals coordinate with one another to offer stability and effectiveness in an organisation.
What are the Different Classifications of Information Security?
There are different categories of information security used depending on the type of information to be protected.
The most used are as follows:
Application security aims at protecting applications and different application programming interfaces (APIs). These security strategies help identify and stop bugs and different intrusions in the applications.
Application security includes documentation, approval, encoding, and monitoring of application security. Companies also use coding methods to reduce vulnerabilities, scanners for the detection of unknown vulnerabilities, and a web application firewall to protect shared applications from different types of attacks.
In an infrastructure where one element is connected to another, there is an elevated risk of vulnerabilities across the systems. So, if one part of the infrastructure is infected, there is a high risk for all other dependent components.
Here, infrastructure security plays a significant role in lowering the percentage of damage from cybercrimes, natural calamities, and other malfunctions. Infrastructure security aims at protecting infrastructure components: client appliances, mobile appliances, servers, and data centres network. Infrastructure security further points towards reducing the reliance on components while allowing them to intercommunicate.
In cryptography, data or information is encrypted to safeguard the information. Herein codes are applied to protect specific information from cyber risk. Encrypted data is only available to authorised users with the correct encryption key.
Different encryption algorithms and technologies are used to encrypt confidential information while storing and transmitting.
The main idea behind vulnerability management is to locate and fix vulnerabilities before the data or information is exploited. It primarily aims to decrease the inherent threats in an application or system. The lesser the vulnerability in a system, the more protected the data and other important resources are.
Cloud security work similarly to infrastructure security, focusing more on cloud computing, cloud-connected elements, and data. It mainly aims at protecting vulnerabilities coming from online shared environments.
The incident response aims to reduce the harm in the systems due to cyber-attacks, system failures, human errors, or natural disasters. This is done by determining, analysing, and responding to different threats by applying a set of tools and procedures.
What are the Different Threats to Information Security?
Listed below are some of the top fundamental threats:
Poor Security Systems
The speedy development of the technologies sometimes compromises security standards, increasing the chances of threat to a system. These security developments should be monitored and operated with immediate effects to avoid any major malfunction in the system.
Security features are available at standard levels; however, organisations customise them per their infrastructure needs. In case of misconfiguration, neglect or human mistake while configuring the security features can lead to a security breach.
Encryption is the process of encrypting readable data or information into non-readable data. This non-readable data can be transformed into readable data by applying decoding keys. It is one of the most effective methods of preventing data from attackers.
However, encryption involves complex functions, and a lack of proper implementation can even lead to losing important data.
As the name suggests, insider threats are the threats developed inside the organisation. These threats can be random due to the accidental downloading of malware, transmitting unsecured information or stolen credentials, or intentional, planned threats to harm or steal organisation information.
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)
APTs are threats where an attacker enters the system and stays there without being detected for a period. Here the attackers monitor the system’s network activity and aim to steal crucial data.
Viruses, worms, malware, ransomware, and phishing scams are other significant threads to the information security of a system.
Information security, followed by cyber security, ethical hacking and related domains, are some of the fastest-growing technologies.
To provide continuous protection to the system over various cyber security threats, professionals in such fields always need to upskill themselves with the latest threats and technologies.
Enhance your InfoSec knowledge with the different IT professional courses offered by Emeritus India in partnership with well-known universities like IIM, MIT and ISB. These programmes will boost your capabilities to manage threats and vulnerabilities across the business.