Information security is the practice of keeping information safe through the applications of technology. It is part of information security. It is intended to prevent, or otherwise reduce the probability of unauthorized or inappropriate access to information or the unlawful use of information. It includes activities to reduce the impact of similar incidents happening again.
Information is to be protected by any means, such as electronic or physical, tangible (e.g. paperwork) or intangible (e.g. knowledge). Information Security’s primary focus is on balancing the protection of the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data with efficient policy implementation, all without impeding productivity.
To reduce this risk, there is an effective risk management process that involves:
- Identifying the information and assets, as well as potential threats and vulnerabilities
- Discussing The Risks
- Deciding how to address or control the different risks including avoidance, mitigation, sharing, or acceptance
- Selecting and implementing the appropriate security controls to protect information assets
- Providing oversight, monitoring the activities, making necessary adjustments, changes, and improvements
A group of academics and professionals collaborate to offer guidance, policies, and industry standards on password, antivirus software, firewall, encryption software, legal liability, security awareness and training, and a number of other forms of cyber-protection. Standardization is driven by laws and regulations around the accessibility of data, and the ability to access, store, process, transfer, and destroy it. But their implementation may have limited impact if there is no culture of continuous improvement in place.
The Core of Information Security
At the core of information security is information assurance which ensures that information is not compromised, and that it is protected against any possible risk. These problems include everything from natural disasters, to server outages, to physical theft.
While paper-based operations are still seen as necessary in many organizations, digital initiatives are increasingly emphasized, putting information security in the hands of information technology specialists. These professionals work with information security to leverage technology (most often some form of computer system).
Put another way, a “desktop PC” is not necessarily a home computer. A computer is any mechanical device that can process information. These include standalone devices ranging from simple calculators to networked mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.
IT security specialists are typically found in larger organizations due to the importance of the data that small businesses don’t store on their own servers. They are responsible for safeguarding all of the technological resources throughout the company, from malicious cyber attacks that often attempt to acquire critical private information or gain control of the internal systems.
Responses to Threats
Potential security solutions to a threat or risk are:
- Reduce/Mitigate – Implement safeguards and countermeasures to reduce harm or prevent threats.
- Assign/Transfer – Allocate the consequence of the threat onto another entity or organization, such as purchasing insurance or outsourcing.
- Accept – Evaluate if the countermeasure benefits the threat at a greater cost than the possible benefit due to the threat.
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