Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Principle of Information Security: Module 1 Introduction to Information Security (Part 4)

2000 to Present

Today, the Internet brings millions of unsecured computer networks and billions of computer systems into continuous communication with each other. The security of each computer's stored information is contingent on the security level of every other computer to which it is connected. Recent years have seen a growing awareness of the need to improve information security, as well as a realization that information security is important to national defense. The growing threat of cyber attacks has made governments and companies more aware of the need to defend the computerized control systems of utilities and other critical infrastructure. Other growing concerns are the threat of countries engaging in information warfare and the possibility that business and personal information systems could become casualties if they are undefended. Since 200, Sarbanes-Oxley and other laws related to privacy and corporate responsibility have affected computer security.

The attack on the World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001, resulted in major legislation changes related to computer security, specifically to facilitate law enforcement's ability to collect information about terrorism. The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 and its follow-up laws are discussed in Module 6.

The 21st century also saw the massive rise in mobile computing, with smartphones and tablets possessing more computing power than early-era mainframe systems. Embedded devices have been the creation of computing built into everyday objects in the Internet of Things (IoT). Each of these networked computing platforms brings its own set of security issues and concerns as they are connected into networks with legacy platforms and cloud-based service delivery systems. Technology that is supposed to be seamless turns out to have many connection points, each with its on set of security and reliability vulnerabilities. The emergence of tools to deal with now-routine threats at large scale has led to the development of complete solutions for unified threat management, data loss prevention, and security information and event management. The solutions will be explored in more detail in later modules.

The threat environment has grown from the semiprofessional hacker defacing web sites for amusement to professional cybercriminals maximizing revenue from theft and extortion, as well as government-sponsored cyberwarfare groups striking military, government, and commercial targets by intent and by opportunity. The attack sources of today are well-prepared and are attacking all connected public and private systems and users.

What is Security?

Security is protection. Protection from adversaries-those who would do harm, intentionally or otherwise - is the ultimate objective of security. National security, for example, is a multilayered system that protects the sovereignty of a state, its people, its resources, and its territory. Achieving the appropriate level of security for an organization also requires a multifaceted system. A successful organization should have multiple layers of security in place to protect its people, operations, physical infrastructure, functions, communications, and information.

The Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) defines information security as the protection of information and its critical elements, including the systems and hardware that use, store, and transmit the information. Figure 1 dash 5, on page 8 of your textbook, shows that information security includes the broad areas of information security management, data security, and network security. The CNSS model of information security evolved from a concept developed by the computer security industry called the CIA triad. The CIA triad has been the standard for computer security in both industry and government since the the development of the mainframe. This standard is based on the three characteristics of information that give it value to organizations: confidentiality, integrity, and availability. The security of these three characteristics is as important today as it has always been, but constantly changing environment. The threats to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information have evolved into a vast collection of events, including accidental or intentional damage, destruction, theft, unintended or unauthorized modification, or other misuse from human or nonhuman threats. This vast array of constantly evolving threats has prompted the development of a more robust model that addresses the complexities of the current information security environment. The expanded model consists of a list of critical characteristics of information, which are described in the next section. CIA triad terminology is used in this module because of the breadth f material that is based on it.


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