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Information Security

Information security

Information security, sometimes shortened to InfoSec, is the practice of preventing unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, inspection, recording or destruction of information.
Information security’s primary focus is the balanced protection of the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data (also known as the CIA triad) while maintaining a focus on efficient policy implementation, all without hampering organization productivity.
To standardize this discipline, academics and professionals collaborate and seek to set basic guidance, policies, and industry standards on password, antivirus software, firewall, encryption software, legal liability and user/administrator training standards.
Information security (IS) is designed to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer system data from those with malicious intentions.

 

 

information security

 

 

History:

Since the early days of communication, diplomats and military commanders understood that it was necessary to provide some mechanism to protect the confidentiality of correspondence and to have some means of detecting tampering.
Sensitive information was marked up to indicate that it should be protected and transported by trusted persons, guarded and stored in a secure environment or strong box. As postal services expanded, governments created official organizations to intercept, decipher, read and reseal letters (e.g., the U.K.’s Secret Office, founded in 1653.
The rapid growth and widespread use of electronic data processing and electronic business conducted through the internet, along with numerous occurrences of international terrorism, fueled the need for better methods of protecting the computers and the information they store, process and transmit.[18] The academic disciplines of computer security and information assurance emerged along with numerous professional organizations, all sharing the common goals of ensuring the security and reliability of information systems.

 

 

history

 

Threats:

Information security threats come in many different forms. Some of the most common threats today are software attacks, theft of intellectual property, identity theft, theft of equipment or information, sabotage, and information extortion. Most people have experienced software attacks of some sort. Viruses,worms, phishing attacks, and Trojan horses are a few common examples of software attacks. The theft of intellectual property has also been an extensive issue for many businesses in the IT field.
Governments, military, corporations, financial institutions, hospitals and private businesses amass a great deal of confidential information about their employees, customers, products, research and financial status. Should confidential information about a business’ customers or finances or new product line fall into the hands of a competitor or a black hat hacker, a business and its customers could suffer widespread, irreparable financial loss, as well as damage to the company’s reputation.
For the individual, information security has a significant effect on privacy, which is viewed very differently in various cultures.

 

threats

 

Responses to threats:

Possible responses to a security threat or risk are:
. reduce/mitigate – implement safeguards and countermeasures to eliminate vulnerabilities or block threats
. assign/transfer – place the cost of the threat onto another entity or organization such as purchasing insurance or outsourcing
. accept – evaluate if the cost of the countermeasure outweighs the possible cost of loss due to the threat.

 

Basic principles:

Key concepts:

The CIA triad of confidentiality, integrity, and availability is at the heart of information security. (The members of the classic InfoSec triad—confidentiality, integrity and availability—are interchangeably referred to in the literature as security attributes, properties, security goals, fundamental aspects, information criteria, critical information characteristics and basic building blocks.)
Other principles such as “accountability” have sometimes been proposed; it has been pointed out that issues such as non-repudiation do not fit well within the three core concepts.

Confidentiality:

In information security, confidentiality “is the property, that information is not made available or disclosed to unauthorized individuals, entities, or processes.”[35] While similar to “privacy,” the two words aren’t interchangeable. Rather, confidentiality is a component of privacy that implements to protect our data from unauthorized viewers. Examples of confidentiality of electronic data being compromised include laptop theft, password theft, or sensitive emails being sent to the incorrect individuals.

Integrity:

In information security, data integrity means maintaining and assuring the accuracy and completeness of data over its entire lifecycle.This means that data cannot be modified in an unauthorized or undetected manner. Information security systems typically provide message integrity along side to confidentiality.

Availability:

For any information system to serve its purpose, the information must be available when it is needed.
High availability systems aim to remain available at all times, preventing service disruptions due to power outages, hardware failures, and system upgrades. Ensuring availability also involves preventing denial-of-service attacks, such as a flood of incoming messages to the target system, essentially forcing it to shut down.
In the realm of information security, availability can often be viewed as one of the most important parts of a successful information security program. Ultimately end-users need to be able to perform job functions; by ensuring availability an organization is able to perform to the standards that an organization’s stakeholders expect.

 

 

 

 

Risk management:

The Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) Review Manual 2006 provides the following definition of risk management: “Risk management is the process of identifying vulnerabilities and threats to the information resources used by an organization in achieving business objectives, and deciding what countermeasures, if any, to take in reducing risk to an acceptable level, based on the value of the information resource to the organization.
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.
Security controls:

Selecting and implementing proper security controls will initially help an organization bring down risk to acceptable levels. Control selection should follow and should be based on the risk assessment. Controls can vary in nature, but fundamentally they are ways of protecting the confidentiality, integrity or availability of information. ISO/IEC 27001 has defined controls in different areas. Organizations can implement additional controls according to requirement of the organization.ISO/IEC 27002 offers a guideline for organizational information security standards.
Logical :

Logical controls (also called technical controls) use software and data to monitor and control access to information and computing systems. Passwords, network and host-based firewalls, network intrusion detection systems, access control lists, and data encryption are examples of logical controls.
This happens when employees’ job duties change, employees are promoted to a new position, or employees are transferred to another department. The access privileges required by their new duties are frequently added onto their already existing access privileges, which may no longer be necessary or appropriate.

Physical:

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 and include 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 workplace into functional areas are also physical controls.
An important physical control that is frequently overlooked is separation of duties, which ensures that an individual can not complete a critical task by himself. For example, an employee who submits a request for reimbursement should not also be able to authorize payment or print the check.

 

 

 

Security classification for information:

 

Some factors that influence which classification information should be assigned include how much value that information has to the organization, how old the information is and whether or not the information has become obsolete. Laws and other regulatory requirements are also important considerations when classifying information. The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and its Business Model for Information Security also serves as a tool for security professionals to examine security from a systems perspective, creating an environment where security can be managed holistically, allowing actual risks to be addressed.
The type of information security classification labels selected and used will depend on the nature of the organization, with examples being.
In the business sector, labels such as: Public, Sensitive, Private, Confidential.
In the government sector, labels such as: Unclassified, Unofficial, Protected, Confidential, Secret, Top Secret and their non-English equivalents.
In cross-sectoral formations, the Traffic Light Protocol, which consists of: White, Green, Amber, and Red.
All employees in the organization, as well as business partners, must be trained on the classification schema and understand the required security controls and handling procedures for each classification.

 

 

security classification

 

Laws and regulations:

Below is a partial listing of governmental laws and regulations in various parts of the world that have, had, or will have, a significant effect on data processing and information security.
. The U.K. Data Protection Act 1998 makes new provisions for the regulation of the processing of information relating to individuals, including the obtaining, holding, use or disclosure of such information. The European Union Data Protection Directive (EUDPD) requires that all E.U. members adopt national regulations to standardize the protection of data privacy for citizens throughout the E.U.
.The E.U.’s Data Retention Directive (annulled) required internet service providers and phone companies to keep data on every electronic message sent and phone call made for between six months and two years.
. The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s (FFIEC) security guidelines for auditors specifies requirements for online banking security.
. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 requires the adoption of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers. Additionally, it requires health care providers, insurance providers and employers to safeguard the security and privacy of health data.
. The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act of 1999 (GLBA), also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, protects the privacy and security of private financial information that financial institutions collect, hold, and process.

 

 

lows and regulations

 

 

Information security culture:

In Information Security Culture from Analysis to Change, authors commented, “It’s a never ending process, a cycle of evaluation and change or maintenance.” To manage the information security culture, five steps should be taken: pre-evaluation, strategic planning, operative planning, implementation, and post-evaluation.
Pre-Evaluation: to identify the awareness of information security within employees and to analysis current security policy
Strategic Planning: to come up a better awareness-program, we need to set clear targets. Clustering people is helpful to achieve it
Operative Planning: create a good security culture based on internal communication, management buy-in, security awareness and training programs
Implementation: should feature commitment of management, communication with organizational members, courses for all organizational members, and commitment of the employees.
Post-evaluation: to better gauge the effectiveness of the prior steps and build on continuous improvement.

 

 

information security

 

Conclusion:

“Information Security is a multidisciplinary area of study and professional activity which is concerned with the development and implementation of security mechanisms of all available types (technical, organizational, human-oriented and legal) in order to keep information in all its locations (within and outside the organization’s perimeter) and, consequently, information systems, where information is created, processed, stored, transmitted and destroyed, free from threats.Threats to information and information systems may be categorized and a corresponding security goal may be defined for each category of threats. A set of security goals, identified as a result of a threat analysis, should be revised periodically to ensure its adequacy and conformance with the evolving environment.

 

 

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