We are living in a digital world these days where the internet and a smartphone have become a necessity. Even when we started using the internet, people didn’t share much information online. However, with the advent of social media platforms and easy access to the digital world through smartphones, people started sharing their personal information online. Today, the services that we avail of through various mobile applications may be free, but they ask for personal data in return. So, we often share our personal details, address, bank account number, credit card numbers, contacts, and even health information with such mobile apps. Now there are ill-intended hackers who are always seeking an opportunity to misuse that data for financial gains.
The steps taken to deal with such hackers and strengthen the defenses of computer systems are what come under information security. Also known as infosec, in short, the term information security refers to the practice of protecting digital data and other types of information. People often use cybersecurity in tandem with information security; however, the latter can be considered a small part of the former. Information security goes beyond protection from digital attacks to cover even the physical form of data.
Today, information security professionals are in high demand as cyberattacks are launched every 39 seconds, and companies can no longer risk their sensitive information. Organizations are even ready to pay high salaries for skilled infosec professionals. In line with this trend, many professionals have started enrolling in Introduction to Information Security courses to gain the necessary skills and start a rewarding career in this domain.
But before taking an online course, you may want to know more about information security. So, this article gives you a complete overview of information security and why you would want to start a career in it.
Information Security Explained
Organizations follow information security practices to protect their data. Though there are different technology solutions and security strategies a company could adopt, Information Security is built around three objectives – Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability, commonly known as the CIA Triad. It is a model designed to guide policies for infosec within an organization. Let us describe the three of them.
Confidentiality – It basically ensures that the information can be accessed only by authorized people, and only they can view or modify the files. Companies may categorize data as per the amount and type of harm that can be done if it is accessed by the wrong people. According to these categories, more or less severe security measures can be implemented. Confidentiality is said to be breached when an unauthorized person is able to access any information or file.
Integrity – This concept focuses on maintaining the accuracy, consistency, and reliability of the data throughout its lifecycle. When an organization tries to protect its integrity, it is trying to build data trustworthiness. In other words, information or files cannot be modified in an unauthorized way.
Availability – As the term suggests, availability ensures that the data is readily accessible to the authorized people and satisfies business needs. Organizations maintain the hardware, technical infrastructure, systems, and other resources which hold the data properly. An attack on availability would mean limiting the user access to different services for a legitimate user.
The above concepts are considered the three most important things within information security. When an organization assesses the needs and use cases for potential new products or services, the CIA triad helps in asking focused questions about how it can meet the requirements in those three key areas. Taking care of all three factors would mean getting the best way to protect the information on its network. For example, regarding any new service or application, an organization can think of how it is affecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information it is related to.
When learning about information security, you will also come across the term ‘information security management system.’ it refers to the set of guidelines and processes designed to help companies that face a data breach. With such guidelines, businesses can take appropriate steps for damage control.
Overall, information security is important because it protects the organization’s ability to function, protects the sensitive information that it collects, ensures the safe operation of applications it develops, and safeguards the technology it uses. The challenges in front of information security are cyber threats like computer hacking, malicious code, or denial-of-service attacks. Moreover, there are threats like malware, phishing, ransomware, internal threats, and cloud vulnerability has to be dealt with seriously.
The IT team, along with senior management, are responsible for a company’s information security strategy. They must ensure that information securities policies are reviewed regularly, and securities requirements are met. For better support, organizations should improve employee awareness of infosec issues through various initiatives or training programs. They can also develop appropriate infosec policies, document flow control, monitor users, and introduce advanced authentication mechanisms to strengthen their defenses.
Information security is one of the trending careers these days and comes with lucrative salary prospects. So, take an online information securities basics course, develop the right skills, and land your dream job.