Information security is designed to protect confidentiality, integrity, availability and about protecting information and information systems from unauthorized use, assessment modification, or removal.
InfoSec is a set of strategies for managing the processes, tools, and policies necessary to prevent, detect, document, and counter threats to digital and non-digital information.
Information security (InfoSec) enables organizations to protect digital and analog information. InfoSec provides coverage for cryptography, mobile computing, social media, as well as infrastructure and networks containing private, financial, and corporate information.
InfoSec handles risk management and It’s similar to data security, which has to do with protecting data from being hacked or stolen. Data is classified as information that means something. All information is data of some kind, but not all data is information.
Information Security is not all about securing information from unauthorized access. InfoSec is basically the practice of preventing unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, inspection, recording, or destruction of information.
Types of Information Security
1. Application security
Application security is a broad topic that covers software vulnerabilities in web and mobile applications and application programming interfaces (APIs). These vulnerabilities may be found in authentication or authorization of users, the integrity of code and configurations, and mature policies and procedures.
Application vulnerabilities can create entry points for significant InfoSec breaches. Application security is an important part of the perimeter defense for InfoSec.
Cloud security provides similar protections to application and infrastructure security but is focused on cloud or cloud-connected components and information.
Cloud security adds extra protections and tools to focus on the vulnerabilities that come from Internet-facing services and shared environments, such as public clouds.
It also tends to include a focus on centralizing security management and tooling. This centralization enables security teams to maintain visibility of information and information threats across distributed resources.
Encrypting data in transit and data at rest helps ensure data confidentiality and integrity. Digital signatures are commonly used in cryptography to validate the authenticity of data.
Cryptography and encryption have become increasingly important. A good example of cryptography use is the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). The AES is a symmetric key algorithm used to protect classified government information.
4. Infrastructure security
Infrastructure security strategies used in Information Security to protect infrastructure components, including networks, servers, client devices, mobile devices, and data centers.
The growing connectivity between these, and other infrastructure components, puts information at risk without proper precautions.
This risk is because connectivity extends vulnerabilities across your systems. If one part of your infrastructure fails or is compromised, all dependent components are also affected.
Due to this, an important goal of infrastructure security is to minimize dependencies and isolate components while still allowing intercommunications.
5. Incident response
Incident response in Information Security is the function that monitors for and investigates potentially malicious behavior.
In preparation for breaches, IT staff should have an incident response plan for containing the threat and restoring the network.
In addition, the plan should create a system to preserve evidence for forensic analysis and potential prosecution. This data can help prevent further breaches and help staff discover the attacker.
7. Vulnerability management
Vulnerability management InfoSec is the process of scanning an environment for weak points (such as unpatched software) and prioritizing remediation based on risk.
In many networks, businesses are constantly adding applications, users, infrastructure, and so on. For this reason, it is important to constantly scan the network for potential vulnerabilities. Finding a vulnerability in advance can save your businesses the catastrophic costs of a breach.
Objectives of Information Security
- Confidentiality – means information is not disclosed to unauthorized individuals, entities and processes.
- Integrity – means maintaining accuracy and completeness of data. This means data cannot be edited in an unauthorized way.
- Availability – means information must be available when needed. Denial of service attack is one of the factors that can hamper the availability of information.
- Authenticity – means verifying that users are who they say they are and that each input arriving at the destination is from a trusted source. This principle if followed guarantees the valid and genuine message received from a trusted source through a valid transmission.
- Accountability – means that it should be possible to trace the actions of an entity uniquely to that entity.
What are information security threats?
- Software attacks on InfoSec include viruses, malware, worms, ransomware like WannaCry or trojan horses.
- Phishing emails or websites are often aimed at stealing intellectual property or log-in credentials to gain unauthorized access. Social engineering is one of the most important cyber threats and is hard to protect against with traditional security measures.
- Sabotage like denial of service attacks often aims to reduce the availability of key information assets, reducing confidence or organizational productivity until payment is received in exchange for returning service to the organization.
- Theft of data and equipment is becoming increasingly common as most devices are now mobile in nature like smartphones or laptops.
- Information extortion involves gaining access to confidential information and then holding it at ransom until payment is made.
Difference between Information security and Cybersecurity
Information security refers to the processes and techniques designed to protect any kind of sensitive data and information whether in print or electronic form from unauthorized access.
Information is a valuable asset to every individual and business, which makes it even more important to protect them from theft or damage.
Cybersecurity is a subset of information security that deals with protecting internet-connected systems including hardware, software, programs, and data from potential cyberattacks.
It protects the integrity of networks from unauthorized electronic access. Network security is the subset of cybersecurity designed to protect the integrity of any network and data that is being sent through devices in that network.
Information Security Certifications
Another important aspect when implementing information security strategies is to ensure that your staff is properly trained to protect your information.
One common method is through information security certifications. These certifications ensure that professionals meet a certain standard of expertise and are aware of best practices.
Numerous certifications are available for information security analysts most commonly sought are:
- Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
- Certified Cyber Professional (CCP)
- Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- GCHQ Certified Training (GCT)
Jobs in Cybersecurity and Information security
- Information security analyst
- Information security coordinator
- InfoSec officer
- Cybersecurity compliance security analyst
- InfoSec security manager
- Information security engineer
- Cybersecurity analyst
- Program security specialist
- Forensics expert
- Chief information security officer
- Penetrations tester