Information security is the protection of information and especially the processing of information. IT security is designed to prevent manipulation of data and systems by unauthorized third parties. The meaning of this is that socio-technical systems, i.e. people and technologies, within companies/organizations and their data are protected from damage and threats. IT security protects not only information and data, but also physical data centers or cloud services.
What is the purpose of information security?
The value of IT information is growing every year. Therefore, the importance of its protection increases. Information security is defined by three objectives of IT protection: accessibility, integrity and confidentiality. In addition, other parts need to be added: authenticity, accountability, non-provability and reliability.
Confidentiality of information
Confidentiality of IT security means that data is only available to certain authorized persons. For example, only a certain group of people can access the data contained in it. In other words, it is necessary to define access protection. This means that access rights must also be assigned.
Another central point of confidentiality of information is the transfer of data. Data should always be encrypted, symmetrically or asymmetrically. This means that unauthorized persons cannot access the content.
Integrity of information
Data integrity is a guarantee that digital information is not damaged and can only be accessed or changed by those who have the right to such changes. Integrity includes maintaining the consistency, accuracy, and reliability of data throughout its lifecycle.
To ensure integrity, the data must not be altered during transmission, and steps must be taken to ensure that the data cannot be altered by an unauthorized person or program.
Availability of information
Ensuring the availability of relevant information means uninterrupted data processing in the systems. The data should be able to be retrieved correctly at the desired time. This means that computer systems must be protected from failures.
When the system does not work regularly, it affects the availability of information and has a significant impact on users. Another factor affecting availability is time. If a computer system cannot deliver information efficiently, accessibility is compromised.
Which areas include IT security?
All necessary end devices, i.e. PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile phones, must be protected. This includes related applications and operating systems. Endpoint security is the protection of everything that is switched on the company’s network, up to the Internet.
Internet and cloud security
From the moment information is scattered on the Internet or sent by e-mail, IT security takes on a new meaning. There is an increasing risk that systems, information and data will become the target of cyber attacks. While working on the Internet, users’ data should be securely protected, since there are many digital traces left.
It is necessary to protect the organization’s users, their endpoints and online activity. The user can be hacked through an application on a personal phone or laptop.
The IT department should raise user awareness so that every employee of the company pays maximum attention to the issue of IT security.
What impact will a cyberattack have on my data?
If one of the three basic areas of IT security is violated, it can lead to serious consequences for the affected companies and enterprises. Cyberattacks allow hackers to gain access to sensitive information, such as inside information or personal data. The consequence may be industrial espionage, misuse of credit card data or identity theft. Data manipulation can lead to the shutdown of production processes in the company.
Cyberattack methods: What kind of attacks exist?
Cybercrime is constantly changing, new methods are being developed to identify and exploit security holes. In general, IT security is asymmetric: in order to cause significant damage to the company’s operational procedures, a cybercriminal must successfully exploit a single vulnerability. Companies, on the other hand, must provide comprehensive protection to ensure their information structure.
Advanced Persistent Threats (APT)
Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) means “advanced and persistent threat”. Hackers spend a lot of time, effort and resources to get into the system. First they get into the computer to spy on internal processes, and from there they sabotage the entire network. This gives cybercriminals permanent access to the network, and from there they can spread more malware to attack the entire system.
Malware can be any type of malware that can cause damage to infected systems. These include worms, viruses, Trojans and ransomware. For example, WannaCry, Petya and Ryuk have shown that malware is quite capable of putting companies on the verge of closure or insolvency.
Phishing is an attempt at fraud carried out electronically, in which a fake email is sent to the recipient, which often does not recognize it as such at first. This method of cyberattack in the form of a professional-looking email is often designed to deceive the recipient into revealing confidential data.
DDoS stands for distributed denial of service. In a DDoS attack, bots cause a large number of requests to the victim’s server. As a result, some services will be paralyzed due to the overload of the affected servers.