We all think of Cybersecurity as hooded kids writing gibberish on a terminal, or powerful organizations launching attacks on vital national infrastructure, leaving citizens in despair. Well, that's only partially true.
Cybersecurity it's a matter of implementing security solutions, mostly. Nevertheless, at the highest level, Cybersecurity means applying security principles, policies, and controls.
Let's shine the light on principles.
What do we mean by security principles?
Despite the huge amount of definitions that we could find on the web, security principles are exactly what we might think about: the foundations of our resilient Cyber-home.
In detail, as per NIST, the most famous security principles are Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability. Those three cornerstones form the so called CIA Triad.
Let's dive in.
Confidentiality aims to protect the access to data, object or resources, protecting their secrecy, through preventing (or minimizing) unauthorized access. Therefore, only the intended recipient of a message will be able to read it. For instance, Security Controls that provide Confidentiality are encryption, access controls and stenography. These controls avoid unauthorized disclosure. Some attacks could be performed to violate confidentiality, including password stealing, social engineering, escalation of privileges, eavesdropping, sniffing. Violation of confidentiality may happen unintentionally, as a result of human error, oversight, or ineptitude.
Integrity aims to protect the reliability and correctness of data, protecting their correctness, preventing unauthorized alterations of data. Therefore:
For instance, Security Controls that provide Integrity are restriction of access to data, objects and resources, authentication procedures, intrusion detection systems, object/data encryption, hash verification, activity logging.
Some attacks could be performed to violate integrity, including viruses, logic bombs, unauthorized access, error in coding and applications, malicious modification, intentional replacement, system back doors. Violation of integrity may happen unintentionally, as a result of human error, oversight, or ineptitude.
Availability aims to ensure timely and uninterrupted access to objects, protecting their provisioning, preventing the impossibility to provide services.
For instance, Security Controls that provide Availability are monitoring performance and network traffic, using firewalls and routers, implementing redundancy for critical systems, maintaining and testing backup systems.
Some attack could be performed to violate availability, including DoS attack, object destruction, communication interruptions. Violation of availability may happen unintentionally, as a result of device failure, software errors, environmental issues (heat, static, flooding, power loss).
We shed some light on well-known security principles Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability, referenced by the terms CIA Triad.
A security solution should address all the CIA Triad principles: the better the principles are addressed, the more secure the solution is.
It all starts here.