What is the CIA Triad?
The CIA triad defined
Have you heard of the CIA Triad? Are you still confused about exactly what it is? If so, you aren't alone. Here you can find more information about the CIA Triad, what it does and the role it plays.
The CIA Triad is a well-known, venerable model for the development of security policies used in identifying problem areas, along with necessary solutions in the arena of information security.
The Central Intelligence Agency
When you hear CIA, the first thing you likely think is Central Intelligence Agency, which is an independent U.S. government agency that is responsible for providing national security intelligence to policymakers in the U.S. However, what many people don't realize is that the CIA Triad actually stands for something else.
CIA - Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability.
The CIA Triad is actually a security model that has been developed to help people think about various parts of IT security.
CIA triad broken down
It's crucial in today's world for people to protect their sensitive, private information from unauthorized access.
Protecting confidentiality is dependent on being able to define and enforce certain access levels for information. In some cases, doing this involves separating information into various collections that are organized by who needs access to the information and how sensitive that information actually is - i.e. the amount of damage suffered if the confidentiality was breached.
Some of the most common means used to manage confidentiality include access control lists, volume and file encryption, and Unix file permissions.
Data integrity is what the "I" in CIA Triad stands for. This is an essential component of the CIA Triad and designed to protect data from deletion or modification from any unauthorized party, and it ensures that when an authorized person makes a change that should not have been made the damage can be reversed.
This is the final component of the CIA Triad and refers to the actual availability of your data. Authentication mechanisms, access channels and systems all have to work properly for the information they protect and ensure it's available when it is needed.
High availability systems are the computing resources that have architectures that are specifically designed to improve availability. Based on the specific HA system design, this may target hardware failures, upgrades or power outages to help improve availability, or it may manage several network connections to route around various network outages.
Understanding the CIA triad
Chances are you have noticed a trend here - the CIA Triad is all about information. While this is considered the core factor of the majority of IT security, it promotes a limited view of the security that ignores other important factors. For example, even though availability may serve to make sure you don't lose access to resources needed to provide information when it is needed, thinking about information security in itself doesn't guarantee that someone else hasn't used your hardware resources without authorization.
It's important to understand what the CIA Triad is, how it is used to plan and also to implement a quality security policy while understanding the various principles behind it. It's also important to understand the limitations it presents. When you are informed, you can utilize the CIA Triad for what it has to offer and avoid the consequences that may come along by not understanding it.