Why are there so many types of IT security? The more links in a network’s chain, the more opportunities for hackers to find their way in. Each component requires its own subsequent security measures—with many of them overlapping and working in tandem, much like the actual components of a network do.
It’s also important to note that with security, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Every network is different and requires skilled professionals to create tailored plans across all fronts: apps, databases, network devices, cloud servers, IT infrastructures, and the often weakest link in the security chain: users. These security plans are living, breathing things that need to be updated, upgraded, and patched on a constant basis, too.
Let’s start broad and work our way into narrower fields of security.
It All Boils Down to Information: Information Security, IT Security, and Information Assurance
Information security and information technology (IT) security sound similar, and are often used interchangeably, but they’re slightly different fields. When we’re talking about information security (or infosec), we’re actually referring to protecting our data—whether that’s physical or digital. IT security is a bit more specific in that it’s only referring to digital information security.
IT security pretty much covers all of the types of security within a network, from components like databases and cloud servers to applications and the users remotely accessing the network. They all fall under the IT security umbrella.
Within this is another term to know: information assurance. This means that any important data won’t be lost or stolen in the event of an attack or a disaster—whether that’s a tornado wiping out a server center or hackers breaking into a database. It’s commonly addressed with things like backups and offsite backup databases and rests on three main pillars: confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA). These philosophies carry over into every other aspect of security, whether it’s application security or wireless security.
IT security experts (also, system administrators and network admins, which we’ll talk about next) are one of the most important team members you can hire. They’re responsible for the safety and security of all of a company’s hardware, software, and assets, and regularly audit back-end systems to ensure they’re airtight. Through security analysis, they can identify potential security problems and create “protect, detect, and react” security plans.
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