What is the CIA Data Protection Triad?
The CIA triad refers to an information security model made up of the three main components: confidentiality, integrity and availability. Each component represents a fundamental objective of information security.
The three components of the CIA triad are discussed below:
1. Confidentiality: This component is often associated with secrecy and the use of encryption. Confidentiality in this context means that the data is only available to authorized parties. When information has been kept confidential it means that it has not been compromised by other parties; confidential data are not disclosed to people who do not require them or who should not have access to them.
Ensuring confidentiality means that information is organized in terms of who needs to have access, as well as the sensitivity of the data. A breach of confidentiality may take place through different means, for instance hacking or social engineering.
2. Integrity: Data integrity refers to the certainty that the data is not tampered with or degraded during or after submission. It is the certainty that the data has not been subject to unauthorized modification, either intentional or unintentional.
There are two points during the transmission process during which the integrity could be compromised: during the upload or transmission of data or during the storage of the document in the database or collection.
3. Availability: This means that the information is available to authorized users when it is needed. For a system to demonstrate availability, it must have properly functioning computing systems, security controls and communication channels.
Systems defined as critical (power generation, medical equipment, safety systems) often have extreme requirements related to availability. These systems must be resilient against cyber threats, and have safeguards against power outages, hardware failures and other events that might impact the system availability.
Availability is a major challenge in collaborative environments, as such environments must be stable and continually maintained. Such systems must also allow users to access required information with little waiting time.
Redundant systems may be in place to offer a high level of fail-over. The concept of availability can also refer to the usability of a system.
The CIA triad describes three crucial components of data and information protection which can be used as guides for establishing the security policies in an organization.
Establishing and maintaining the organization’s security policies can be a daunting task, but using the three-pillared strategic approach to cyber security can help you identify and manage cyber security risks in a methodic and comprehensive manner.