The risks posed by cyber-attacks keep magnifying as we depend increasingly on technology in our daily lives. Cybercriminals are becoming more audacious and launching new malware and virus assaults daily, from data breaches to phishing scams.
This is why our current digital era critically relies on Information Security or InfoSec. Digital information must be safeguarded against unauthorized access, use, disclosure, interruption, alteration, and destruction. This makes having a firm grasp of information security principles and practices more vital than ever.
Whether you are responsible at your company for monitoring and maintaining information security, or a business owner looking to save themselves the trouble of being constantly on guard against malicious cybercrimes, this blog is for you.
This article will discuss what InfoSec is, its principles and best practices, and how it differs from cybersecurity. We will also delve into the five most common security threats prevalent worldwide today. Our objective is to help you develop a solid foundation of knowledge that will enable you to defend your business from cyber threats and save your reputation and a tonne of money in case of a data loss disaster.
What is InfoSec?
Information security, often known as InfoSec, is a set of security practices and tools that safeguard critical business data from unauthorized access, misuse, interruption, and destruction. Infosec primarily includes access control, cybersecurity, and environmental security.
It frequently incorporates technologies like endpoint detection and response (EDR), cloud access security brokers (CASB), deception tools, and security testing for DevOps (DevSecOps), amongst others. Information security (InfoSec) is a rapidly expanding and changing discipline that encompasses a variety of topics, including testing, auditing, and Infrastructure and network security.
Data loss, manipulation, and theft of confidential information are all effects of security events. Attacks can cause delays in business operations, harm a company’s reputation, and cost money. Organizations need to set aside money for security and ensure they are prepared to stop threats like phishing, malware, viruses, malicious insiders, and ransomware in their tracks.
Organizations need to set aside money for security and make sure they are prepared to stop threats like phishing, malware, viruses, malicious insiders, and ransomware in their tracks.
What are the Three Principles of InfoSec?
Let’s discuss the InfoSec principles, also commonly referred to as the CIA triad.
Measures to maintain confidentiality are intended to stop unauthorized information dissemination. The confidentiality principle’s goals are to maintain the privacy of personal information and guarantee that only the people who require it to carry out their organizational duties can see and access it.
Protection from unauthorized data changes (additions, deletions, revisions, etc.) is a component of integrity consistency. The integrity principle guarantees that data is accurate and trustworthy and not improperly manipulated, intentionally or unintentionally.
The protection of a system’s ability to make data and Software completely accessible when a user wants it (or at a predetermined time) is known as availability. The goal of availability is to make the technological foundation, the applications, and the data accessible when required by a business process or its clients.
Now, let’s learn what the key elements of Information Security are.
What are the Key Elements of InfoSec?
- Application Security
Policies, procedures, tools, and best practices protect applications and their data.
- Cloud Security
Policies, best practices, and technologies are implemented to safeguard the systems, data, applications, and Infrastructure of the cloud.
A communication security technique based on algorithms to guarantee that only the intended audience for a given message may see and understand it.
- Incident Response
The strategy the company adopts to address, manage, and recover from a cyberattack, data breach, or other disruptive event.
- Infrastructure Security
The security measures cover the hardware and software systems and comprise the organization’s whole technical Infrastructure.
- Disaster Recovery
A process for restoring operational, technological systems after a disruptive event, such as a natural disaster, cyberattack, or other.
- Vulnerability Management
A method used by the company to find, evaluate, and rectify vulnerabilities in its endpoints, Software, and systems to prevent unprecedented data loss disasters.
The security practices for InfoSec and cybersecurity are almost similar. Let’s see where these two concepts differ.
How is InfoSec Different From Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is different from information security in terms of both intent and scope. Although the two terms are frequently used synonymously, cybersecurity is a subset of information security.
Information Security is a rather large discipline that covers topics like physical security, endpoint security, data encryption, and network security. Information assurance, which guards against dangers like natural catastrophes and server outages, is also closely tied to it.
Technology-related dangers are the main focus of cybersecurity, which uses procedures and equipment that can stop or lessen them. Data security is another field that prevents unauthorized persons from accidentally or maliciously accessing an organization’s data.
A specialist in information security may create security protocols or design ways for authorized people to access data. However, a cybersecurity specialist will focus on defending data from online attacks like spyware and ransomware.
In this next section, we will learn what an InfoSec policy is.
What is an InfoSec Policy?
An Information Security Policy (ISP) is a set of guidelines for using IT assets. Businesses might develop information security policies to guarantee that staff members and other users follow security standards and processes. According to security regulations, only authorized individuals are supposed to have access to sensitive systems and information.
A crucial step in preventing and reducing security threats is developing an efficient security strategy and adopting measures to verify compliance. Update your policy often in light of company changes, new threats, learnings from prior breaches, and modifications to security technologies and systems for it to be truly effective.
ISPs make sure your information security plan is reasonable and feasible. It is required to implement a system of exceptions, with an approval process, allowing departments or individuals to deviate from the rules in specific circumstances to suit the demands and urgency of various departments within the organization.
What are the Five Most Common Information Security Threats?
Finally, let’s understand the five most common InfoSec threats. Information Security threats can be categorized into hundreds of categories and millions of threat vectors. These are the top five InfoSec threats you should know about: —
- Poorly secured IT systems
The rapid advancement of technology frequently causes security precautions to be compromised. In other instances, systems are created without considering security and continue functioning as legacy systems within an organization. To reduce the hazard, organizations must identify these insecure systems and secure or patch them, decommission them, or isolate them.
- Social Engineering
Hackers utilize social engineering to lure users into taking activities that could jeopardize their security or reveal confidential information. They seduce victims by appealing to their emotions, such as fear, urgency, or curiosity.
People are more likely to comply with social engineering messages because the source seems trustworthy, such as by clicking a link that installs malware on their devices or sharing personal information, passwords, or financial information.
Organizations can reduce the risk of social engineering by educating users about its risks and preparing them to recognize and reject messages that might be social engineering. Additionally, technological systems can block social engineering at its source or shield users from risky behaviors like downloading or clicking on unauthorized links.
- Improper Encryption
Data is encrypted during encryption, so only users with secret keys can decode it. In the event of device loss or theft, system compromise by attackers, or equipment loss, it successfully prevents data loss or corruption.
Unfortunately, this policy is frequently disregarded because it is difficult to implement properly, and there are no formal legal requirements. Organizations increasingly embrace encryption through specialized security tools, purchasing storage devices, or using cloud services that allow encryption.
- Malware at Endpoints
A wide range of endpoint devices, many of which are privately owned and outside the organization’s control, are used by organizational users, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. All of these devices frequently connect to the Internet.
Malware is the main threat to all of these endpoints since it can be spread via a number of channels, compromise the endpoint directly, and escalate privileges to other organizational systems.
Endpoint detection and response (EDR), a more sophisticated technique for securing endpoints, is emerging as traditional antivirus software cannot block all contemporary kinds of malware.
- Security Misconfigurations
Modern organizations, in particular, use many web applications, databases, Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from suppliers like Amazon Web Services.
Security measures are present in enterprise-grade platforms and cloud services, but the organization must configure them. A security breach may be caused by carelessness or human error in the security configuration. Unbeknownst to IT or security staff, proper security configuration can quickly grow out of date and render a system susceptible due to a phenomenon known as “configuration drift.”
Organizations can reduce the risk of security misconfiguration by utilizing technological platforms that monitor systems, spot configuration gaps, and alert or even automatically correct configuration problems that leave plans vulnerable.
One of the best ways to ensure your InfoSec measures support your business processes and operations is to achieve compliance with data protection laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For this, you need a compliance platform solution like Akitra does provide.
Compliance Readiness with Akitra!
Establishing trust is a crucial competitive differentiator when prospecting new SaaS businesses in today’s era of data breaches and compromised privacy. Customers and partners want assurances that their organizations are doing everything possible to prevent disclosing sensitive data and putting them at risk, and compliance certification fills that need.
Akitra offers an industry-leading, AI-powered Compliance Automation platform for SaaS companies. Using automated evidence collection and continuous monitoring, together with a full suite of customizable policies and controls as a compliance foundation, our compliance automation platform and services help our customers prepare readiness for compliance frameworks like SOC 1, SOC 2, ISO 27001, ISO 27701, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR, CMMC, NIST 800-53, NIST 800-171, FedRAMP, and more such as CIS AWS Foundations Benchmark, etc. In addition, companies can use Akitra’s automated questionnaire product to streamline and expedite security questionnaire response processes delivering huge cost savings. Our compliance and security experts will provide customized guidance to navigate the end-to-end compliance process confidently.
The benefits of our solution include enormous savings in time, human resources, and cost savings, including discounted audit fees with our audit firm partners. Customers achieve compliance certification fast and cost-effectively, stay continuously compliant as they grow, and can become certified under additional frameworks using a single compliance automation platform.
Build customer trust. Choose Akitra TODAY!
To book your FREE DEMO, contact us right here.