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What is Information Technology?


Information technology (IT) security is the practice of ensuring that data is secure in the technological world. The technology in question is usually a computer system of some kind. The word computer does not always refer to a traditional home computer. Any device that contains a memory and a processor is considered a computer.

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IT Security Specialists

Because of the high value of the data that is acquired and used by major companies, these specialists are almost always on staff. Their job is to make sure the valuable data is not compromised in any way, as well as to maintain the computer equipment and solve any problems with it. Threats to the data usually come in the form of cyber attacks from rogue hackers or other companies attempting to take control of internal systems or steal information.

Information Assurance

This is the act of preventing the loss of data in the event of a crisis. There are many events that could be considered a crisis, such as physical theft, the malfunction of a server or computer, natural disasters or any other situation where the loss of data is possible. Specialists usually deal with the task of information assurance. This is because computers are used to store most of our data nowadays. A common way of offering information assurance is the availability of a backup for all of the data. This backup is located off-site. This would only be used if a crisis would occur.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is the task of preventing unauthorized systems or people from gaining access to private information. In many cases, this information could be used for criminal purposes. For example, encryption is necessary whenever a person’s credit card number is transmitted over the Internet. This prevents criminals from obtaining the number to use for their own purposes. Most systems are set up to prevent a credit card number from showing up in places such as printed receipts, backups, log files, databases and other places that a criminal could gain access to them. The places where credit card numbers are stored have restricted access. In order to protect the privacy of personal information that is stored on a computer system, confidentiality is necessary.

Integrity

Data integrity is the maintaining of the consistency and accuracy of data during its complete life-cycle. If data integrity is being implemented, the data should not be modified in a manner that is undetected or unauthorized. When a message is actively modified while it is in transit, a violation of integrity has occurred. Along with data confidentiality, message integrity is usually provided by secure information systems.

Availability

All data has to be made available whenever it is required for an information system to serve its purpose. This means that the communication channels used to store the data, the security controls being used to protect the data and the computing systems being used to process and store the data must be functioning properly. Systems that are high availability are available all of the time. This prevents any disruptions from system upgrades, hardware failures and power outages. The prevention of denial-of-service attacks is also part of ensuring availability.

Authenticity

It is critical to make sure that all documents, communications, transactions and data are genuine. Authenticity also verifies the identity of each party. Digital signatures are often implemented to verify a person’s identity. In these cases, a person must use the correct signing key to send information.

Qualifications

People who work in IT security generally have IT certifications and degrees in computer science. A person interested in this career should major in computer science and obtain as many IT certifications as they can so they will be more attractive to employers.

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