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Overview

What is information assurance?

Information assurance (IA) concerns the protection and risk management of information and information systems. It is built on five key principles designed to help ensure the integrity, availability, authenticity, confidentiality and non-repudiation of information and information systems.

To achieve effective information assurance, businesses must adopt a range of security controls. These should cover the processing and transmission of data and information systems stored in physical, electronic and cloud locations, and in transit.

Key terms

Information assurance vs cyber security

Cyber security and information assurance are terms that are often used interchangeably, but despite the similarities, they should be viewed as separate disciplines. The main difference between cyber security and information assurance is as follows:

Cyber security is a specialist field focused around the practical processes used to defend networks against malicious attacks. Information assurance has a broader, more strategic focus, encompassing not just security but the processing and analysis of both digital and non-digital data and the protection of information systems.

Princples

Information assurance principles

There are five core information assurance principles, or ‘pillars’, as they are sometimes referred to.

Integrity

Maintaining the consistency and accuracy of information across its lifecycle.

Availability

Ensuring that information is easily accessible to authorised users and systems operate at the required level of performance.

Authenticity

Validating the identity of users and devices through authentication and biometrics.

Confidentiality

Restricting system and information access and modification to authorised users only.

Non-repudiation

Guaranteeing communication transmission and removing deniability by keeping systems up-to-date and encrypting digital signatures.

Approach

Our approach to information assurance

By adopting an offensive security mindset, Kroll’s cyber security experts help organisations of all sizes to defend against the latest attacks.

An outcome-focused approach and commitment to delivering the highest levels of service ensures our clients receive the support and insights needed to make continuous improvements to information assurance. Our end-to-end security services portfolio, from Penetration Testing to Managed Detection and Response to Incident Response, enable out customers to make tangible information assurance improvements.

A team of security experts using the latest threat intelligence

Compliance

Complying with the latest information assurance standards

In today’s global marketplace, competition is fierce. To maintain customer confidence and avoid regulatory sanctions, businesses must demonstrate their commitment to information assurance. Kroll’s cyber security services can help your organisation to achieve compliance with the latest regulations and standards:

Information assurance FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What is information assurance?

Information assurance refers to practices involved with managing and protecting against risk in relation to the use, storage and transmission of data and information systems. The aim of information assurance is to protect the integrity, availability, authenticity, non-repudiation and confidentiality of user data to help keep companies more secure. It is commonly viewed as a subset of information security.

Why is information assurance important?

With the volume of sensitive data used by organisations increasing all the time, it is critical that it is managed securely and effectively. Information assurance plays a critical role in reducing serious risks to data, such as unauthorised access, copying or deleting. As well as helping to strengthen the long-term security status of an organisation and supporting credibility, operational efficiency and resilience, information assurance enables companies to stay better aligned with key regulations such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

What types of activities does information assurance involve?

Information assurance covers activities that are focused on enhancing and maintaining a high standard of organisational risk management and data quality. This includes security audits, network architecture, compliance audits, database administration and implementation. Information assurance may also involve the process and practice of enforcing organisational information management policies.

What are the three key principles of information assurance?

The key principles of information assurance are referred to as the CIA triad, which stands for Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. Each component represents a fundamental objective of data security and can be applied in different ways, depending on the specific requirements of an organisation and its information and information systems. Confidentiality is related to privacy and the use of encryption, data integrity refers to the assurance that data is not tampered with or degraded across its lifecycle, and data availability refers to information being available and accessible to authorised users when it is needed.

What is the difference between information assurance and cyber security?

The key difference between information assurance and cyber security is that while information assurance takes a bigger picture approach to security, data and information systems, cyber security is a more specialist area, specifically focused on defending organisations against attacks. While information assurance is dedicated to securing data, cyber security aims to secure networks and associated devices.

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