For centuries people have been collecting and storing different types of information for various reasons. Today, thanks to the new information technologies the process of collecting and providing information throughout the world is as easy as never before. Though technologies made this process digital, convenient, and dynamic, still information security should be the main concern for those who own and control any type of information, especially when it concerns public, business and government sectors.
But there is a good news! The same technological progress also provides effective solutions to protect and secure the digital data.
We will have a look at information security aspects and some of its solutions.
Why Information needs security?
We all make use at least of one modern technology in our everyday, business, and public life – computers, laptops, mobile devices, interactive terminals etc. Many people register their personal information to Internet, some for employment, and others for business and social communication purposes. And while we, the users are running through this, we want to be assured that our information would be used and secured in a proper way since we never lose the sense of private life and security.
Information Security is the protection of the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, perusal, inspection, recording or destruction. It is based on the principles of the consumers’ interests and human rights. In many countries it is a legal requirement . Protecting information is critical for business and governmental institutions which deal with huge volumes of confidential information about their employees, customers, products, research, and financial status. Most of this information is now collected, processed and stored on electronic computers and transmitted across networks. So now, we can imagine what could happen if this kind of information would be available to everyone – it will cause an incredible damage like lost business, law suits or even bankruptcy of the business.
The Core Aspects of Information Security
Of course, securing information is about securing the system or network that the information is stored in. But apart from all this there should be a concise understanding of information security core aspects in order to plan, implement and maintain an effective security policy. That policy should be compliant with local laws and industry standards.
1. Information Classification
Information value needs to be assessed to have appropriate security requirements for different types of information. Not all information is equal and so not all information requires the same level of protection. This requires information to be classified due to its value. So a thorough risk management should be realized. Obviously, the more sensitive or valuable the information the stronger the security control needs to be.
2. Access Control
The protected information should be available only to those people who are authorized to access that information and to control its development. That is why all the computers, software and networks which process the information, should be set up with access control and provide authorization mechanisms.
Cryptography is a main asset in information security. It is the process of converting the secured data into unusable form while the information is in transmission or just is in storage. This is done for preventing unauthorized users from reading and interpreting the sensitive data they could accidentally get or access. Unusable information could be transformed back to the usable one by an authorized user, who has the cryptographic key. This converse process is decryption.
Information security assumes not only the protection of stored data but also its protection on the stages of creation, development and disposal. In other words, it is “responsible” for the whole life-time of the information. During its life-time information may “travel” through different processes and systems and even change its format and value. Defense-in-depth allows controlling information life-time and adequately reacts on information transformations and external threats. It is a comprehensive and detailed approach to information security. It is a multi-layered defense system where each component of the information has its own protection mechanisms.
5. Backups and Disaster Recovery
These days nobody and nothing is insured from unexpected and unprecedented cases. So does the information. To provide the business continuity and information completeness companies and other institutions of high significance employ disaster recovery planning (DRP) and back-ups policy.
Information back up is the periodical reservation of data copy on extra systems to have at least one reserved copy in case of data loss or destruction.
DRP is focused on taking the necessary steps to resume normal business operations as quickly as possible. It is executed immediately after the disaster occurs and details what steps are to be taken in order to recover critical information.
6. Hardware and Software
An effective information security system incorporates a set of policies, security products, hardware and software technologies and procedures. The correct and targeted deployment of all those components should make up an effective information security.
But how to find reliable and comprehensive software applications for information security?
Here are some of the highly rated and industry recognized solutions for information monitoring and security.
a. Nsauditor Network Security Auditor
Nsauditor Is Network Security And Vulnerability Scanner that gives you the power to scan, detect and correct any potential security risk on your network. Nsauditor allows monitoring network computers for possible vulnerabilities, checking enterprise network for all potential threats. The application also includes firewall system, real-time network monitoring, packet filtering and analyzing. Nsauditor significantly reduces the total cost of network management in enterprise environments by enabling IT personnel and systems administrators gather a wide range of information from all the computers in the network without installing server-side applications on those computers.
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b. NetShareWatcher – Network Shares and Permissions Monitoring
NetShareWatcher Is Network Security Improvement Software. It allows network administrators to monitor network shares and identify shares which are violating data access policy of their organization. NetShareWatcher is very handy. Once you configure it a first time, you can forget about network sharing problems. You only need to select restricted groups or users and every time NetShareWatcher will automatically detect network shares with an access log list.
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c. ShareAlarmPro – Network Access Monitoring Software
ShareAlarmPro Allows Easily Performing Network Shares And Folder Monitoring, blocking unwanted users attempting to access secured shares and confidential files over network, detecting and loging accessed files and folders. With ShareAlarmPro you are protected and well-informed about files and folders access over your network.
The software includes Firewall and intrusion detection system based on security events log analyzer; in addition software allows monitoring security events and permissions changes.
Originally posted at Network Security Magazine