What is Information Security

cyber-security

In connection with the development of information technology and the computerization of the economy, one of the most important issues in the company’s activities is ensuring information security.

Information is one of the most valuable and important assets of any enterprise and should be properly protected.

What does the concept of “information security” mean?

Sometimes everything goes well during a security audit. In other words, patches, policies, network segmentation, and antivirus, as well as user responsiveness, among other security measures, are used wisely. For the researcher or the IT security adviser who needs to deepen the analysis, this is when psychological hacking methods and a series of other tools come into play for ethical hackers subject of this post. Indeed, they are probably the only ones allowing cyber attackers to break into the target system.

The purpose of ensuring information security  is to protect information data and supporting infrastructure from accidental or intentional interference, which can cause data loss or unauthorized change. Information security helps ensure business continuity.

For the successful implementation of information security systems in the enterprise, it is necessary to adhere to three main principles:

  1. Confidentiality.  This means putting control in place to guarantee an adequate level of security with company data, assets and information at different stages of business operations to prevent unwanted or unauthorized disclosure. Confidentiality should be maintained while maintaining information, as well as during transit through ordinary organizations, regardless of its format.

  2. Integrity. Integrity deals with controls that are related to ensuring that corporate information is internally and externally consistent. Integrity also ensures that information is not distorted.

  3. Availability. Accessibility provides reliable and efficient access to authorized information. The network environment should behave in a predictable way in order to access information and data when necessary. System recovery due to a failure is an important factor when it comes to the availability of information, and such recovery should also be provided in such a way that it does not affect the operation adversely.

You need to understand that only a systematic and integrated approach to protection can ensure information security. The information security system must take into account all relevant and probable threats and vulnerabilities. This requires continuous monitoring in real time. Control should be carried out 24/7 and cover the entire life cycle of information – from the moment when it enters the organization, and to its destruction or loss of relevance.

Choosing and implementing appropriate types of security controls will help your organization reduce risk to acceptable levels. The following types of control are distinguished:

  • Administrative.  The administrative type of control consists of approved procedures, standards and principles. It forms the framework for doing business and managing people. Laws and regulations created by state bodies are also one of the types of administrative control. Other examples of administrative controls include corporate security policies, passwords, hiring, and disciplinary measures.

  • Logical. Logical controls (also called technical controls) are based on protecting access to information systems, software, passwords, firewalls, information for monitoring and controlling access to information systems.

  • Physical. This is the control of the workplace environment and computing facilities (heating and air conditioning, smoke and fire alarms, fire systems, cameras, barricades, fences, locks, doors, etc.).

Threats to Information Security

Threats to information security can be divided into the following:

  • Natural  (human-independent disasters: fires, hurricanes, floods, lightning strikes, etc.).
  • Artificial,  which are also divided into:
    – unintentional (committed by people through negligence or ignorance);
    – intentional (hacker attacks, unlawful actions of competitors, revenge of employees, etc.).
  • Internal  (sources of threats that are inside the system).
  • External (sources of threats outside the system)

Since threats can affect the information system in different ways, they are divided into passive (those that do not change the structure and content of information) and active (those that change the structure and content of the system, for example, the use of special programs).

The most dangerous are deliberate threats, which are increasingly replenished with new varieties, which is associated primarily with the computerization of the economy and the spread of electronic transactions. Attackers do not stand still, but are looking for new ways to obtain confidential data and cause company losses.

To protect the company from loss of money and intellectual property, it is necessary to pay more attention to information security. This is possible thanks to information security in the face of advanced technologies.

Information Security Means

 

Information security protection tools  are a set of technical devices, devices, and devices of various nature that prevent the leakage of information and fulfill the function of protecting it.

Information security tools are divided into:

  • Organizational. This is a combination of organizational and technical (providing computer rooms, setting up a cable system, etc.) and organizational and legal (legislative base, statute of a specific organization) means.

  • Software.  Those programs that help control, store and protect information and access to it.

  • Technical (hardware).  These are technical types of devices that protect information from penetration and leakage.

  • Mixed hardware and software.  Perform the functions of both hardware and software.

In connection with the rapid development of IT, more and more frequent cyber attacks, computer viruses and other emerging threats, the most common and popular today are information security tools.

Antivirus programs  are programs that fight computer viruses and renew infected files.

Cloud antivirus (CloudAV)  is one of the cloud  information security solutions that uses lightweight agent software on a secure computer, uploading most of the information analysis to the provider’s infrastructure. CloudAV is also a solution for efficient virus scanning on devices with low computing power to perform the scans themselves. Some examples of cloud-based antivirus software are Panda Cloud Antivirus, Crowdstrike, Cb Defense, and Immunet.

DLP (Data Leak Prevention)  solutions are protection against information leakage. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a set of technologies designed to prevent the loss of confidential information that occurs in enterprises around the world. Successful implementation of this technology requires considerable preparation and thorough maintenance. Enterprises wishing to integrate and implement DLP must be prepared for significant efforts, which, if performed correctly, can significantly reduce the risk to the organization.

Cryptographic systems – information transformation in such a way that its decryption becomes possible only with the help of certain codes or ciphers (DES – Data Encryption Standard, AES – Advanced Encryption Standard). Cryptography protects information and other useful applications, including advanced authentication methods, message digests, digital signatures, and encrypted network communications. Older, less secure applications, such as Telnet and File Transfer Protocol (FTP), are slowly being replaced by more secure applications, such as Secure Shell (SSH), which use encrypted network communications. Wireless communications can be encrypted using protocols such as WPA / WPA2 or the older (and less secure) WEP. Wired communications (such as ITU-T G.hn) are protected using AES for encryption and X. 1035 for authentication and key exchange. Software applications, such as GnuPG or PGP, can be used to encrypt information files and email.

Firewalls (firewalls or firewalls)  are network access control devices designed to block and filter network traffic. Firewalls are usually classified as network or host servers. Network-based firewalls are located on LAN, WAN, and intranet gateway computers. These are either software devices running on general-purpose hardware or hardware-based firewall computer devices. Firewalls also offer other functions for the internal network that they protect, for example, they are a DHCP or VPN server for this network. One of the best solutions for both small and large enterprises is the CheckPoint firewalls.

VPN (Virtual Private Network).  A virtual private network (VPN) makes it possible to identify and use a private network to transmit and receive information within a public network. Thus, VPN applications are highly secure. VPN allows you to connect to the internal network from a distance. Using a VPN, you can create a common network for geographically distant enterprises. As for individual users of the network, they also have their own advantages of using a VPN, as they can protect their own actions using a VPN, as well as avoid territorial restrictions and use proxies to hide their location.

A proxy server  is a specific computer or computer program that is the link between two devices, such as a computer and another server. A proxy server can be installed on one computer along with a firewall server, or on another server. The advantages of a proxy server is that its cache can serve all users. The websites that are the most frequently requested are most often in the proxy cache, which is undoubtedly convenient for the user. Fixing your interactions with a proxy server is a useful feature for troubleshooting.

Information Security Monitoring and Management Systems, SIEM.  To identify and respond to emerging threats to information security, the SIEM solution is used, which collects and analyzes events from various sources, such as firewalls, antiviruses, IPS, operating systems, etc. Thanks to the SIEM system, companies can centrally store event logs and correlate them, determining deviations, potential threats, disruptions in IT infrastructure, cyber attacks, etc.

Special attention should be paid to the management of mobile devices  in the enterprise, as many employees often use personal smartphones, tablets and laptops for corporate purposes. Implementing custom solutions such as VMware AirWatch,  IBM MaaS360, Blackberry Enterprise Mobility Suite, VMware Workspace One  will help to better control employees’ mobile devices and protect company data.

Conclusion

Information is very important for successful business development, therefore, it needs appropriate protection. This has become especially relevant in a business environment where information technology has come to the fore. Since we live in the era of the digital economy, without them, the growth of the company is simply impossible.

Information is now exposed to an increasing number of threats and vulnerabilities. Hacker attacks, interception of data over the network, the impact of virus software and other threats are becoming more sophisticated and are gaining momentum. Hence the need to implement information security systems that could protect company data.

The selection of suitable information security tools is influenced by many factors, including the scope of the company, its size, technical side, and employee knowledge in the field of information security.

If you have questions about information security solutions that would be best suited for your enterprise, as well as how to implement them, contact Pirit specialists.

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