Sunday, April 25, 2010

Information security


Information security means protecting information and information
systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction.

Key concepts

For over twenty years information security has held that confidentiality, integrity and availability (known as the CIA Triad) are the core principles of information security.
In information security, integrity means that data can not be created, changed, or deleted without authorization. It also means that data stored in one part of a DATABASE system is in agreement with other related data stored in another part of the database system (or another system). For example: a loss of integrity can occur when a database system is not properly shut down before maintenance is performed or the database server suddenly loses electrical power A loss of integrity occurs when an employee accidentally, or with malicious intent, deletes important data files. A loss of integrity can occur if a computer virus is released onto the computer. A loss of integrity can occur when an on-line shopper is able to change the price of the product they are purchasing.
Risk management
A comprehensive treatment of the topic of risk management is beyond the scope of this article. We will however, provide a useful definition of risk management, outline a commonly used process for risk management, and define some basic terminology.

Risk is the likelihood that something bad will happen that causes harm to an informational asset (or the loss of the asset). A vulnerability is a weakness that could be used to endanger or cause harm to an informational asset. A threat is anything (man made or act of nature) that has the potential to cause harm.

In broad terms the risk management process consists of:
1. Identification of assets and estimating their value. Include: people, buildings, hardware, software, data (electronic, print, other), supplies.
2. Conduct a threat assessment. Include: Acts of nature, acts of war, accidents, malicious acts originating from inside or outside the organization.
3. Conduct a vulnerability assessment, and for each vulnerability, calculate the probability that it will be exploited. Evaluate policies, procedures, standards, training, physical security, quality control, technical security.
4. Calculate the impact that each threat would have on each asset. Use qualitative analysis or quantitative analysis.
5. Identify, select and implement appropriate controls. Provide a proportional response. Consider productivity, cost effectiveness, and value of the asset.
6. Evaluate the effectiveness of the control measures. Ensure the controls provide the required cost effective protection without discernable loss of productivity.

When Management chooses to mitigate a risk, they will do so by implementing one or more of three different types of controls.

Administrative controls (also called procedural controls) consist of approved written policies, procedures, standards and guidelines. Administrative controls form the framework for running the business and managing people. They inform people on how the business is to be run and how day to day operations are to be conducted.

Logical controls (also called technical controls) use software and data to monitor and control access to information and computing systems. For example: passwords, network and host based firewalls, network intrusion detection systems, access control lists, and data encryption are logical controls.

Physical controls monitor and control the environment of the work place and computing facilities. They also monitor and control access to and from such facilities. For example: doors, locks, heating and air conditioning, smoke and fire alarms, fire suppression systems, cameras, barricades, fencing, security guards, cable locks, etc. Separating the network and work place into functional areas are also physical controls.

Security classification for information :
An important aspect of information security and risk management is recognizing the value of information and defining appropriate procedures and protection requirements for the information. Not all information is equal and so not all information requires the same degree of protection.

Information security is the ongoing process of exercising due care and due diligence to protect information, and information systems, from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, destruction, modification, or disruption. The never ending process of information security involves ongoing training, assessment, protection, monitoring & detection, incident response & repair, documentation, and review


  1. Its a broad concept. There are so many techniques and strategies that fall under information hiding. I find this article very informative and useful to learn most of the things about how to secure information.
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