When it comes to the three pillars of cybersecurity, your People and Process pillars rely on Technology to help ensure your cybersecurity is as robust as possible. And because technology is the most tangible aspect of cybersecurity, it is often the most frequently addressed. It is also the pillar that changes the most as technology is constantly updated and developed. With this in mind, let’s look at the technology pillar, starting with the CIA Triad.
The CIA Triad
The role of cybersecurity technology is to protect data and information. This includes customer data, personal employee data, and proprietary company information. The CIA triad was developed to accomplish this through an information security model comprising three components.
Keeping data confidential means that it is only available to certain people. It must be protected during transmission and storage to keep that confidentiality from being compromised.
Technology must protect data confidentiality during data transfer via email, a collaborative platform, SMS text messaging, or even a voicemail. Encryption should be used during data transfer to ensure only those people intended to see the data can access it.
Confidentiality also requires the organization of data according to its level of sensitivity and who requires access to it. Controls should be in place to ensure that stored data is only accessed by people who need it and only when they need it.
The integrity of your data refers to its accuracy and consistency, which directly relate to the data’s reliability. All data should be complete and in its original form. Data that has lost its integrity has been altered or degraded somehow.
The unauthorized modification of data can be intentional or unintentional and is most often at risk of occurring when data is uploaded and transmitted and during storage. Data integrity can be compromised through:
- Corruption – A hardware malfunction or a bug in the software can cause data to be stored or transmitted incorrectly, resulting in errors and inconsistencies in the data.
- Tampering – An unauthorized user can access and intentionally alter or delete the data.
- Malicious software – A cybercriminal can use malicious software to inject a virus into the system that can change data in a way that can cause significant damage and disrupt operations.
Availability refers to ensuring your data is available to those authorized to access it when they need it, including during regular business operations and when a disruptive event occurs. This will require computer systems to function correctly and communication channels, security systems, and controls that provide adequate protection without impeding access.
Technology supports availability through network and software development in the following ways:
- Redundant systems – Systems such as backup servers and power sources should be in place so that when one system goes down, you have others that can maintain business continuity.
- Load balancers – These can be used to distribute incoming communications and requests across multiple systems so you can avoid downtime since no single system becomes overwhelmed.
- Regular testing and maintenance – This will help you detect issues with availability so you can address them before they become disruptive.
Solutions and Tools for a Strong Technology Pillar
Technology plays an integral role in the CIA triad. Yet, it is no longer enough to have disparate systems and legacy systems that aren’t updated with the most recent security measures, particularly since these are the types of systems cybercriminals target.
To maintain the CIA triad, your cybersecurity system should be aligned with your security policies and your level of risk. It should also be a framework of consolidated solutions that are designed to work together for the greatest protection in all areas of security, including:
The technology you have in place should support a zero-trust approach to data access. This assumes that every user who tries to access the system is a potential risk until proven otherwise through the proper authentication and authorization.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will help you:
- Confirm the validity of events that occur within the system.
- Verify the origins and integrity of all data.
- Monitor systems for deviations in behaviors and patterns to help stop attacks before they happen.
Extended detection and response (XDR) evolved from the traditional endpoint detection to detect and respond to security events across endpoints, networks, and the cloud. This technology helps make connections from data in different locations, making it easier to detect threats and analyze them.
Remember that technology cannot offer complete protection on its own. But together with people and processes, it will strengthen your cybersecurity posture. Contact Platinum Technologies today to learn how we can help you choose and implement the right technology to protect the CIA triad in your organization.