Course Units 16
Cyber Security Goals
The objective of Cybersecurity is to protect information from being stolen, compromised or attacked. Cybersecurity can be measured by at least one of three goals-
- Protect the confidentiality of data.
- Preserve the integrity of data.
- Promote the availability of data for authorized users.
These goals form the confidentiality, integrity, availability (CIA) triad, the basis of all security programs. The CIA triad is a security model that is designed to guide policies for information security within the premises of an organization or company. This model is also referred to as the AIC (Availability, Integrity, and Confidentiality) triad to avoid the confusion with the Central Intelligence Agency. The elements of the triad are considered the three most crucial components of security.
The CIA criteria are one that most of the organizations and companies use when they have installed a new application, creates a database or when guaranteeing access to some data. For data to be completely secure, all of these security goals must come into effect. These are security policies that all work together, and therefore it can be wrong to overlook one policy.
The CIA triad is
Confidentiality is roughly equivalent to the privacy and avoids the unauthorized disclosure of information. It involves the protection of data, providing access for those who are allowed to see it while disallowing others from learning anything about its content. It prevents essential information from reaching the wrong people while making sure that the right people can get it. Data encryption is a good example to ensure confidentiality.
Tools for Confidentiality
Encryption is a method of transforming information to make it unreadable for unauthorized users by using an algorithm. The transformation of data uses a secret key (an encryption key) so that the transformed data can only be read by using another secret key (decryption key). It protects sensitive data such as credit card numbers by encoding and transforming data into unreadable cypher text. This encrypted data can only be read by decrypting it. Asymmetric-key and symmetric-key are the two primary types of encryption.
ii. Access control
Access control defines rules and policies for limiting access to a system or physical or virtual resources. It is a process by which users are granted access and certain privileges to systems, resources or information. In access control systems, users need to present credentials before they can be granted access such as a person’s name or a computer’s serial number. In physical systems, these credentials may come in many forms, but credentials that can’t be transferred provide the most security.
Authentication is a process that ensures and confirms a user’s identity or role that someone has. It can be done in several different ways, but it is usually based on a combination of-
- something the person has (like a smart card or a radio key for storing secret keys),
- something the person knows (like a password),
- something the person is (like a human with a fingerprint).
Authentication is the necessity of every organizations because it enables organizations to keep their networks secure by permitting only authenticated users to access its protected resources. These resources may include computer systems, networks, databases, websites and other network-based applications or services.
Authorization is a security mechanism which gives permission to do or have something. It is used to determine a person or system is allowed access to resources, based on an access control policy, including computer programs, files, services, data and application features. It is normally preceded by authentication for user identity verification. System administrators are typically assigned permission levels covering all system and user resources. During authorization, a system verifies an authenticated user’s access rules and either grants or refuses resource access.
v. Physical Security
Physical security describes measures designed to deny the unauthorized access of IT assets like facilities, equipment, personnel, resources and other properties from damage. It protects these assets from physical threats including theft, vandalism, fire and natural disasters.
Integrity refers to the methods for ensuring that data is real, accurate and safeguarded from unauthorized user modification. It is the property that information has not be altered in an unauthorized way, and that source of the information is genuine.
Tools for Integrity.
Backup is the periodic archiving of data. It is a process of making copies of data or data files to use in the event when the original data or data files are lost or destroyed. It is also used to make copies for historical purposes, such as for longitudinal studies, statistics or for historical records or to meet the requirements of a data retention policy. Many applications especially in a Windows environment, produce backup files using the .BAK file extension.
A checksum is a numerical value used to verify the integrity of a file or a data transfer. In other words, it is the computation of a function that maps the contents of a file to a numerical value. They are typically used to compare two sets of data to make sure that they are the same. A checksum function depends on the entire contents of a file. It is designed in a way that even a small change to the input file (such as flipping a single bit) likely to results in different output value.
iii. Data Correcting Codes
It is a method for storing data in such a way that small changes can be easily detected and automatically corrected.
Availability is the property in which information is accessible and modifiable in a timely fashion by those authorized to do so. It is the guarantee of reliable and constant access to our sensitive data by authorized people.
Tools for Availability
- Physical Protections
- Computational Redundancies.
i. Physical Protections
Physical safeguard means to keep information available even in the event of physical challenges. It ensures sensitive information and critical information technology are housed in secure areas.
ii. Computational redundancies
It is applied as fault-tolerant against accidental faults. It protects computers and storage devices that serve as fallbacks in the case of failures.