Information Assurance

Information Assurance

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Information Assurance (IA) refers to the measures and controls used to protect and defend information and information systems, ensuring their availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and non-repudiation. These measures include providing for the restoration of information systems by incorporating protection, detection, and reaction capabilities.

Here is a breakdown of these principles:

  1. Availability: Ensuring that authorized users have access to information and associated assets when required. Information must be available when it is needed. This usually means the systems are up and running when they’re supposed to be, but it can also involve ensuring the infrastructure is in place to support data recovery and business continuity.
  2. Integrity: Guarding against the improper modification or destruction of information, and ensuring information non-repudiation and authenticity. In other words, information must be protected from being altered by unauthorized entities and measures must be in place to detect any changes by authorized entities.
  3. Confidentiality: Preserving authorized restrictions on access and disclosure, including means for protecting personal privacy and proprietary information. In essence, only authorized individuals, processes, or systems should be able to access the data.
  4. Authentication: The process of establishing the identity of a user or system. This ensures that the individuals or systems are who they claim to be, prior to granting access to information.
  5. Non-repudiation: The assurance that a party to a contract or a communication cannot deny the authenticity of their signature on a document or the sending of a message that they originated.

Information Assurance can be applied in various contexts such as business, military, and healthcare settings where information needs to be stored, transmitted, and processed securely. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, with the growing volume and sophistication of cyber threats, ensuring information assurance is a significant concern for all types of organizations.

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