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What is Information Assurance?


Technopedia defines information assurance as a specialty area of information technology; to work in information assurance, you generally need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology. An information assurance model is concerned with five principles, which are: 1) data integrity; 2) availability; 3) authentication protocols; 4) confidentiality, and; 5) nonrepudiation.

Data integrity makes sure the information has not been tampered with by things like virus attacks. Availability is making sure that the data is accessible and not blocked by things like malware or ransomware. Authentication protocols establish secure access for authorized users of the data. Confidentiality protects the data from security breaches to protect it from unauthorized use. Nonrepudiation is an audit system that tracks data changes so that the changes cannot be denied by keeping the proof that they happened.

It is important to have clear IT systems and policies to delineate what is information assurance and security. Cybersecurity is concerned with protecting data, networks, and system from unauthorized intrusions and misuse. Information assurance is concerned with the validity of the data and making it available to authorized users while protecting confidentiality. Data that is deemed valid, needs to be protected thereafter to avoid data corruption that is either intentional or accidental. In this way, an information assurance model and security work together to protect valid data.

What Does an Information Security Analyst Do?

So what does an information security analyst do? A partial list of duties would include:

  • Conduct security audits and recommend improvements
  • Create data backup and protection policies and monitor backup processes for effectiveness
  • Create formal documentation of the best practices for information assurance and security in accordance with operational requirements
  • Create security and risk policies and guidelines
  • Implement security strategy
  • Real-time monitoring of networks (hardware and software) for suspicious traffic, behaviors, and unauthorized intrusions
  • Supervise IT projects for security implementation and project management

Those are the basics; to fully answer the question, what does an information security analyst do, depends on the particular circumstances and the industry the analyst is working in. Security analysts may work for government agencies, in the private sector, or for private government contractors.

Information Assurance Policy Careers

College students and job seekers who learn what is information assurance may follow a successful career path. IT specialists who understand the innovations concerning what is information assurance are in high demand. They know how to apply the best practices utilizing an effective information assurance model as part of an overall information assurance policy.

Information Assurance vs Information Security

To understand information assurance vs information security is to see that information security is a subset of information assurance. Information security focuses on protecting the data, using encryption, secured data storage, and other technologies. Security is an important part of information assurance, which includes the broader categories of data availability, integrity, authorized access, confidentiality, and creating an audit trail.

Information assurance vs information security are approaches that are not in opposition to each other. Security is a component of assurance.

Information Assurance vs Cyber Security

When considering information assurance vs cybersecurity, it’s important to understand that cybersecurity is a subset of information assurance. IT networks need both. Cybersecurity is generally concerned with the outward-facing data network systems that have risk exposure to hackers and other bad actors due to the interconnectivity of the system with the Internet. The goal of robust cybersecurity is to prevent data breaches.

Just like information security, information assurance vs cyber security are approaches that are not in opposition to each other. Cyber security is a component of assurance. Information assurance also includes protection of the physical records such as hard paper copies of documents, so it has a broader scope than just cybersecurity.

What Is Information Assurance: Example

An Information assurance example includes an organization that is transitioning from paper records to digital records. This company may have an information assurance policy and systems that provide data protection, authorized access, availability, confidentiality, and audit trails across all data formats.

Another information assurance example, which is more advanced, includes innovative solutions that utilize the deployment of blockchain and hyper ledger technologies to create secure data audit records that are permanent and unchangeable.

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