When you use a social media profile or send an email, you trust that your personal information is protected from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. Personal information can be physical or electronic, and it includes things such as your social media credentials and data on your computer.
There are many potential risks to sensitive information, but information security serves to manage and mitigate those risks and protect user information.
CIA: Three Principles of Business Information Security
Information security consists of three key principles: confidentiality, integrity, and availability, which spell out the acronym CIA. All three components of the CIA triad work together to ensure the integrity of your security system. If one part is compromised, then the information security is as well.
Confidentiality means that unauthorized parties do not have access to the information. Confidentiality can be breached if a stranger watches you enter your social media password upon login, if you unintentionally disclose your password by entering it in a duplicate site, or if your information is otherwise revealed.
High-integrity data is accurate and complete, and not tampered with in an unauthorized manner. If your email is intercepted and the contents are changed before they reach the recipient, the integrity of the email has been compromised.
Data integrity requires that information and programs can be changed only by an authorized user. If an unauthorized source opens and changes information, the file has lost its integrity.
The system must perform its intended function without interference or impairment. When a piece of malware corrupts part of the file system, that means that there has been a deliberate unauthorized manipulation, and system integrity is compromised.
To be secure instead of merely inaccessible, the information must be accessible to authorized users when needed. For example, if one wanted to check if a student has received too many absences for the year, multiple organizational teams would likely need access to that information (the principal, teachers, parents, etc.). If none of these essential parties can access that information efficiently and safely, then the security system is poorly built. Good information security puts the key to accessing data in the hands of the right users instead of merely sealing information away permanently.
Another core principle of information security is non-repudiation. Non-repudiation means that a party cannot deny information like proof of data integrity or origin. Digital signatures are a form of non-repudiation for online transactions, as they assure that a party cannot deny the validity of their signature on a document. Non-repudiation cannot occur without data integrity and authenticity.
For maximum security, users must verify that they are who they say they are. When authenticity is upheld, it ensures that the message was received from a trusted party through a valid transmission.
When a message is sent, it has a digital signature attached that was created with a hash value and private key. The receiver side analyzes the digital signature and generates a hash value. If the two values match, then the transmission is valid, and authenticity is preserved.
Actions of an entity should be uniquely traceable to that entity. Each information asset is assigned to an individual who is primarily responsible for that asset.
Best Practices for Information Security in Businesses
Vulnerability Testing & Assessment
To assure the CIA triad and principles of information security function properly, vulnerability testing and assessment is vital. A comprehensive security assessment is the first step for businesses when it comes to developing a mitigation strategy aligned with your company objectives. At AIS, we run extensive diagnostic security assessments to detect any vulnerabilities inside your information security system.
A penetration test, or pen test, is a simulated cyber attack that will help you determine your most critical security gaps, how your system handles the latest threat tactics, and how a compromised user or system will impact the rest of the network.
The results of your penetration test provide you with risk identification, insight for which remediation efforts to prioritize, and validation of security controls. You will be able to fine-tune your security policies and repair any detected vulnerabilities.
Work with Professionals for Better Information Security
At AIS, we implement effective technical solutions to secure your information security and digital enterprise.
Our NIST-based, organization-wide security assessment ensures that our experts understand your greatest areas of risk. We consider the full demands to design and build personalized, compliant information security programs. AIS’s knowledgeable and dedicated experts help you assess security risks, address gaps, and build a security program that meets all stringent regulatory requirements.
Certified security testers from AIS execute penetration tests in various industries and organizations. We implement the newest techniques and procedures to simulate what modern attackers are doing. Once we complete penetration testing, vulnerabilities are prioritized by risk and the AIS advisory team offers remediation consulting to prevent exploitation and meet regulations.
Our cybersecurity experts will assess and remediate your information security risks and put your mind at ease. We guide you through critical IT security decisions with trusted security solutions that are designed to last. Give us a call at (317) 751-4332 or contact us here to schedule your security assessment.