What Does CIA Mean In Cybersecurity?

The CIA triad — a concept that focuses on the balance between the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data under the protection of your information security program — is referred to as CIA in cybersecurity.

This notion has evolved as an important principle for information security professionals over the last two decades. It helps direct efforts, expenditure, and hours when trying to create, improve and align a cybersecurity program to the demands of the business.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is fundamentally about keeping what needs to be kept private secret. Government regulation, industry compliance regulations, expectations from your business partners, and your company's business interests all play a role in determining what data should be kept private.

Integrity

Integrity is concerned with keeping data clean and unaltered, both during upload and storage. This entails ensuring that only those authorized to change it do so. Otherwise, deliberate or accidental data leaks can occur within or out of organizations.

Altering data can cause many issues and weeks of difficulties for businesses. When this occurs, trust is thrown out the window. At all times, businesses, their partners, and their consumers must be able to rely on accurate, reliable, and up-to-date data.

Availability

When an authorized person needs to access data or information, availability simply implies that they can. It's easy to mix it up with, and it can even appear to contradict secrecy. While secrecy ensures that only those who need access to the data can do so, availability ensures that the data is easily accessible should an authorized person require it. 

This can involve ensuring that networks and apps are functioning properly, that security protocols are not impeding productivity, and that a resource is available if an issue emerges and needs to be resolved.

Want to learn more about data security? Read the blog on what is cybersecurity engineering.

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