Information Security (Infosec). What Is It? Principles, Standards.
Nowadays most information is stored digitally on a network, computer, server, or in the cloud, allowing criminals to easily obtain access to important information, therefore it is important to understand what information security is and its importance.
What Is Information Security (InfoSec)?
You might be wondering what information security is? The answer, whilst simple, embeds in itself great importance. There are a set of well-established practices that will help any user to keep his or her data secure from unwanted access and/or alteration by unauthorized foreign parties during data storage or transmission from one place to another.
Under the information, security protection falls print data, electronic data, and, nonetheless, any other private & sensitive personal data from unauthorized access.
So far, the concepts on information security and cybersecurity may seem similar but in fact, they are quite different. Cybersecurity is the practice used to provide security from online attacks; information security is a specific discipline that falls under cybersecurity.
The Difference Between Cybersecurity and Information Security
While addressing different types of security for any organization both types of security are of very significant importance when it comes to how much and how exactly they invest in a proper security framework.
Let’s try to better understand what is the difference between cybersecurity and information security in the present landscape.
As you might already know cybersecurity is defined as the “ability to protect or defend the use of cyberspace from cyber-attacks.”
Cybersecurity is related to attacks from the inside or outside of an organization and is the framework of protecting and securing anything vulnerable to hacks, attacks, or unauthorized access which mainly consists of computers, devices, networks, servers, and programs.
It relates exclusively to the protection of data originating in a digital form, therefore when we talk about cybersecurity, we are discussing only digital information, systems, and networks.
When it comes to information security we tend to only think about computers and digital information, but we should remember that meaningful, valuable data can be stored in multiple forms.
Confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data – that is what information security covers in general. It can also be about protecting a filing cabinet of important documents just as much as it is can relate to protecting your organization’s database, therefore we can say that information security is essentially the practice of securing your data, no matter its form.
We should also be aware that when it comes to the overlap that happens between cybersecurity and information security.
Cybersecurity is focusing on the protection of data that is found in electronic form from being compromised and attacked, and cybersecurity professionals are the ones that take on a more active role in this process by protecting servers, endpoints, databases, and networks.
- Network security;
- Application security;
- Cloud security;
- Critical infrastructure;
- Information security Examples;
- Procedural controls;
- Access controls;
- Technical controls;
- Compliance controls.
The 3 Principles of Information Security
The CIA is an acronym in this context for Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. These are the basic components of information security.
This is one of the basic elements existing in information security.
The data becomes truly confidential when only authorized people are able to access it and in order to ensure confidentiality, all the techniques designed for security should be put to use. The techniques that can be used include strong passwords, encryption, authentication, and also a defense against any penetration attacks.
There is a principle of confidentiality which states that information should only be accessed or viewed by those people with the right privileges. The science used that stands behind confidentiality is cryptography which is all about encryption and decryption methods.
Unfortunately, confidentiality can be breached so each employee in an organization or company should understand and treat with responsibility its duties in maintaining the confidentiality of the information delegated to him for the exercise of his duties.
When it comes to keeping confidential data safe, cryptography is one of the most often used methods, and that is why encryption has so much importance as an accepted and effective way of protecting data in transit. Here are a few ways in which you can make sure that confidential information is properly protected:
When using this technique data becomes unreadable for any third party.
This method increases the safety that the confidential data has and therefore manages to decrease the probability of data leakage.
Safekeeping your keys
Access to your keys equals access to your data, and the second set of keys should be kept in a safe place as the information can be lost or taken advantage of.
Data alteration protection embeds the data integrity component – this is valid regardless of the way the data would be altered – accidentally or maliciously.
The techniques used for confidentiality are meant to protect data integrity in such a way that a cybercriminal is not able to change the data when they can’t get access to it, and in order to ensure this type of in-depth integrity, a few tools are needed.
Another basic element in information security is availability, meaning that it is truly vital to make sure your data is not accessed by unauthorized persons and only the ones who have permission can access it.
Availability in this context means being able to match network and computing resources in order to compute data access and implement better policies for disaster recovery purposes.
What Does An Information Security Policy (ISP) Refer to?
An information security policy is a document that an enterprise draws up, based on some specific needs and quirks.
It helps to establish the data that will be protected and the ways in which it will be, as these are the policies that can guide an organization during the decision-making about procuring cybersecurity tools.
Here are a few key points that should be included in the Information Security Policy
- It should describe the purpose of the InfoSec program and objectives;
- It must define the key terms used in the document to ensure shared understanding;
- It must contain a password policy;
- It should determine who has access to what data;
- It must include the employee’s roles and responsibilities to safeguard data.
Aside from the ISP an ISMS (information security management system) could also help when setting up a proper informational security policy as it provides a systematic approach for managing an organization’s information security.
This actually is a managed framework that enables the user to manage, monitor, review, and improve the information security practices in one single place in an easy manner as it contains policies, procedures, and controls designed to meet the three objectives of information security.
What Are the Information Security Standards?
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the worldwide federation of national standards bodies. ISO is also a nongovernmental organization able to comprise standards bodies from more than 160 countries, with one standards body representing each member country.
The principle that stands at the heart of the organization is about developing and promoting unified international standards for working conditions, technology, scientific testing processes, and, just as important societal issues.,
You might think that ISO is only an abbreviation but the word ISO in itself is derived from the Greek isos, meaning “equal,” which is the root for the prefix iso- that occurs in a host of terms, such as isometric (of equal measure or dimensions) and isonomy (equality of laws, or of people before the law).
This term is used around the world to denote the organization, thus avoiding the assortment of abbreviations that would result from the translation of “International Organization for Standardization”.
Some of the most well-known ISO standards for information technology include:
Open Systems Interconnection (OSI): Computer manufacturers and telecommunications providers developed this universal reference model for communication protocols in 1983, and ISO later adopted it as a standard.
This ISO standard provides a six-step process for developing and implementing information security policies and processes.
This security management standard specifies more than 100 best practices regarding business continuity, access control, asset management, and more.
This ISO standard creates a technical specification and codifies best practices for IT service management.
This risk management framework standardizes the definition of risk and associated terms and offers guidelines for any person, business, or agency.
This ISO standard creates a consistent lifecycle management process for all software.
It’s important to understand the fact that the value of data should represent the biggest concern for any business, and that by employing the right security strategy you and your data can remain safe.