The term “information assurance” refers to the technical and managerial aspects of information, especially keeping control over it and guaranteeing that it is only available to those with authority. While “cybersecurity” is concerned with protecting systems and data contained within networks connected to the Internet.
Understanding What Cybersecurity Is
Cybersecurity refers to the technology, methods, and practices used to safeguard networks, programs, devices, and data against attack, damage, or illegal access. This involves defending against cyberattacks aimed at gaining access to, altering, or destroying sensitive data, stealing money from users, or interfering with normal company activities.
Cybersecurity data breaches are occurring at such a rapid pace these days that only the most significant ones make headlines. The list of high-profile targets for hackers continues to get larger — from restaurants, businesses, universities, and social networking platforms to financial institutions and even government agencies such as the NSA, FBI, and IRS.
The field of cybersecurity, which is a relatively new profession compared to information assurance, is multiplying as businesses try to keep up with online threats. That said, there is a well-documented talent shortage in cybersecurity, with some experts estimating as many as 3.5 million job openings by 2025.
Understanding What Information Assurance Is
Although information assurance as modern science is comparatively new, the concept of securing information stretches all the way back to the earliest instances of humans being required to keep secrets. Information assurance has evolved over the years, from the practice of locking sensitive physical files and documents in a vault to the challenging task of transitioning from paper to electronic data. Today, the practice continues to evolve as businesses and organizations develop new strategies for safeguarding their vital information, which is increasingly in electronic format.
Consider information assurance as to the activity of guaranteeing that information systems work as required when needed and stay accessible to only authorized users.
When it comes to defending a company and its customers, the choice between cybersecurity and information assurance is pretty straightforward. The answer is to have both.
Information Assurance is critical for businesses that deal with credit card transactions, digital and physical files with sensitive data, and confidential phone, postal, and email conversations. Cybersecurity is a key component of IA.
The National Security Agency refers to this combination of information assurance and cybersecurity as Defense-In-Depth. In a nutshell, Defense-In-Depth assures that regardless of how a malicious party attempts to infiltrate an information system — online or offline — a security measure is in place.
If you’re interested in learning more about cybersecurity measures for your business, read Security Forward’s article on the best corporate cybersecurity measures today.
Desiree Macy is the Editorial Director of Security Forward which is frequented by security executives, corporate security officers, and private protection professionals each month. Desiree’s interests revolves around cyber-security, and business continuity.