Understanding the CIA Triad of Information Security -
Part One: Confidentiality
The modern business landscape continues to evolve each and every day, meaning it’s never been more important to ensure that you’re staying on top of your organisation’s cyber security.
Of course, if you’re an IT Manager, it’s highly likely that cyber security is already a part of your daily responsibilities – which is great news. If you’re a Business Owner, however, there’s every chance that cyber security has not crossed your mind for several days, weeks or even months, or until a major breach hits the headlines. You’re not alone.
While this may not be a problem right this moment, it could easily become one should your organisation be targeted by a malicious cyber attack.
This point is made all the more pertinent by the fact that the Australian Cyber Security Centre reported ransomware attacks increased by 15% in 2020-2021 https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/view-all-content/reports-and-statistics/acsc-annual-cyber-threat-report-2020-21 [reference 1] compared to the previous year, causing huge financial and reputational losses for many businesses both in Australia and around the world.
That’s why we have the CIA Triad
The CIA Triad is a well-held information security policy framework within the cyber security world that provides guidance on how to protect your organisation and its data.
This article is the first of a three-part series in which we are going to focus on each of the three pillars of the CIA Triad and explain the important role that each one plays in your organisation’s cyber security.
So, let’s get started.
What is the CIA Triad?
The CIA Triad is an information security model that’s made up of three main concepts, or pillars, of cyber security – each represented by one of the three letters in the acronym:
The idea of this model is that you need to safeguard your organisation’s data from unauthorised access (confidentiality), ensure that the organisation’s trusted data is not changed in unexpected ways (integrity), and ensure that the information can be accessed by authorised users whenever they need (availability).
Of course, while the CIA Triad is well understood within digital security circles, many business owners with operations either partially or wholly online are still not aware of the significant role that it plays in their organisation’s ability to manage digital threats.
That’s why we’re taking the time in this series to explore and explain each pillar, starting with Confidentiality.
The importance of business data confidentiality
As the name suggests, confidentiality is about ensuring that your data is kept from prying eyes and remains a private element of your organisation.
Essentially, this involves making sure that only authorised people can gain access to your data, both on an external and internal level. This means not only restricting access to people outside your organisation, but also restricting access to certain departments and roles within your business as well – such as providing only your financial department with access to company financial data.
On the flip side, another key part of the confidentiality pillar involves making sure that, after restricting access, the people within your organisation that do require access still maintain those privileges accordingly.
Let’s run through a few ways that you can safeguard your organisation with confidentiality:
- Utilise multi-factor authentication (MFA) as a second line of defence to safeguard your login credentials. Even if username and/or password information have been compromised, login attempts will fail with MFA in place
- Employ endpoint safeguards to protect your employees’ devices, for example, laptops and mobile phones from being compromised by malicious attacks or malware.
- Practise effective patch management by identifying and closing holes in your security protocols with software patches as soon as they become available.
- Draw up a Disaster Recovery Plan to ensure that even if an attacker does manage to access your confidential data, you have a plan of action ready to help minimise the fallout from this breach.
- Ensure effective management of your privileged information and role-based access control to help prevent breaches and data leaks – whether intentional or accidental.
- Provide regular staff training to ensure that your team stay up to date with your latest cyber security policies and know how to work safely online.
As an IT Manager or Business Owner, it’s important to make sure that cyber security stays front of mind for you every single day, especially as our digital business landscape continues to evolve and malicious attackers continue to find new ways to access data.
With the right security controls, user verification, access controls and information security policy, you can effectively protect your organisation from unwanted attacks and ensure that, if an attacker does happen to breach your security protocols, you’re adequately prepared to handle the situation.
Brace168 is your greatest line of cyber security defence
Here at Brace168, we use the CIA Triad to build confidentiality by cataloguing and prioritising the sensitivity of your digital assets, before applying cost-effective safeguards around your most sensitive data to keep your organisation protected.
Through a holistic cyber security approach driven by international best practice standards, we help to safeguard your business from the financial, legal and reputational liabilities that come with cyber threats, data breaches and malicious online attacks.
At Brace168, we can provide a Security Assessment https://www.brace168.com/services/security-assessment/ to assess the current cyber security posture of your organisation. We also offer a Managed Detection and Response https://www.brace168.com/services/managed-detection-and-response/ solution to safeguard your online environment, with 24/7 ‘eyes on glass’ services.
To learn more, visit our website at https://www.brace168.com.
Keep an eye out for part two of our CIA Triad series, where we discuss the importance of data integrity.