Information security is a set of practices intended to keep data secure from unauthorized access or alterations. Here’s a broad look at the policies, principles, and people used to protect data.
What is Information Security (InfoSec)?
Information security is a set of practices designed to keep personal data secure from unauthorized access and alteration during storing or transmitting from one place to another.
It is designed and implemented to protect print, electronic, and other private, sensitive, and personal data from unauthorized persons. It is used to protect data from being misused, disclosed, destroyed, modified, and disrupted.
What are the 3 Principles?
The basic tenets of information security are confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Every element of the information security program must be designed to implement one or more of these principles. Together they are called the CIA Triad.
Confidentiality measures are designed to prevent unauthorized disclosure of information. The purpose of the confidentiality principle is to keep personal information private and to ensure that it is visible and accessible only to those individuals who own it or need it to perform their organizational functions.
Consistency includes protection against unauthorized changes (additions, deletions, alterations, etc.) to data. The principle of integrity ensures that data is accurate and reliable and is not modified incorrectly, whether accidentally or maliciously.
Availability is the protection of a system’s ability to make software systems and data fully available when a user needs it (or at a specified time). The purpose of availability is to make the technology infrastructure, the applications, and the data available when they are needed for an organizational processor for an organization’s customers.
Information security measures
As should be clear by now, just about all the technical measures associated with cybersecurity touch on information security to a certain degree, but there it is worthwhile to think about infosec measures in a big-picture way:
- Technical measures include the hardware and software that protects data – everything from encryption to firewalls
- Organizational measures include the creation of an internal unit dedicated to information security, along with making infosec part of the duties of some staff in every department
- Human measures include providing awareness training for users on proper infosec practices
- Physical measures include controlling access to the office locations and, especially, data centers
An Information Security Policy (ISP) is a set of rules that guide individuals when using IT assets. Companies can create information security policies to ensure that employees and other users follow security protocols and procedures. Security policies are intended to ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive systems and information.
Creating an effective security policy and taking steps to ensure compliance is an important step toward preventing and mitigating security threats. To make your policy truly effective, update it frequently based on company changes, new threats, conclusions drawn from previous breaches, and changes to security systems and tools.
Make your information security strategy practical and reasonable. To meet the needs and urgency of different departments within the organization, it is necessary to deploy a system of exceptions, with an approval process, enabling departments or individuals to deviate from the rules in specific circumstances.
Information Security and Data Protection Laws
Information security is in constant interaction with the laws and regulations of the places where an organization does business. Data protection regulations around the world focus on enhancing the privacy of personal data, and place restrictions on the way organizations can collect, store, and make use of customer data.
Data privacy focuses on personally identifiable information (PII) and is primarily concerned with how the data is stored and used. PII includes any data that can be linked directly to the user, such as name, ID number, date of birth, physical address, or phone number. It may also include artifacts like social media posts, profile pictures, and IP addresses.