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What Do I Need to Know About IT Security?

Author: Simone Kohl

· 2 mins read

An organization’s information systems are often threatened by human error, malicious behavior in the form of external and internal attacks, and environmental events. More about IT security can be found in this article.

Definition of IT Security

Companies use IT security to ensure the protection of all information, IT systems and also the protection of the user’s identity. The goal is to secure individual data as well as data centers and cloud services. It includes all measures that serve to protect IT, including identifying threats, identifying potential security gaps and localizing vulnerabilities.
This includes end devices such as PCs, notebooks and tablets, as well as operating systems and applications.

Protection Goals – CIA Triad

If your organization meets the following protection goals, you and your systems and data are likely protected against threats. The CIA Triad consists of Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability:

  1. Confidentiality
    • Data must be accessible only to authorized persons and thus confidential data must not be disclosed. This includes both personal data and data that could endanger business operations.
    • To achieve this confidentiality, a company should encrypt the data.
  2. Integrity
    • Integrity refers to the correct recording of data and the prevention of data manipulation. Part of this is system integrity: system processes should be correct and cannot be changed by unauthorized persons.
    • The prerequisite is reliability on the data and the systems.
    • In case of an attack, the data can be corrupted by changing, inserting information or deleting it. To prevent this, unauthorized persons should not be able to access the system.
  3. Availability
    • Availability should allow access to the systems at any time. Authorized persons should be able to access e.g. services or functions and information of an IT system. This minimizes the risk of system failures.
    • The goal is to protect data from unauthorized deletion by, on the one hand, protecting it from human events such as hacker attacks, disgruntled employees or accidental damage. On the other hand, data should also be protected from environmental events, such as business interruptions caused by natural events.

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In conclusion, ensuring the security of an organization’s information systems is crucial to protecting sensitive data, IT infrastructure, and user identities from a variety of threats, including human error, malicious attacks, and environmental events. IT security encompasses a broad range of measures designed to identify threats, address security gaps, and safeguard against vulnerabilities across all end devices, operating systems, and applications. By adhering to the CIA Triad—Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability—organizations can effectively shield their data and systems from unauthorized access, manipulation, and disruptions. Emphasizing robust encryption, reliable data recording, and system accessibility will help maintain the resilience of IT operations against both human and environmental risks.

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