Nowadays, all organizations, companies, and institutes, large or small, depend on digital resources to maintain their networks, information, and records and ensure smooth operation. Given how incredibly businesses are growing, using digital resources to protect organizations’ assets is significantly safer than it is to use outdated methods.
As digital resources are a great solution and a need of the hour, they also give rise to the risks of cyber attacks. Due to being extensively used, digital technology has attracted many intruders to harm a business by means of malware and cyber-attack. Therefore, the concept of IT security is introduced.
In a broader sense, IT security involves the protection of data and information from all angles against cyber threats, infected programs, and faulty hardware components. Read till the end to learn more about IT security, its types, and its associated risks. This article will also eliminate misconceptions between IT security and other security concepts confused with it.
What Is IT Security?
Information technology (IT) security is the strategy of protecting data when it is fed, stored, processed, and transferred. It also covers the security of a network within which data execution and transfer take place. Not only limited to data protection, but IT security also refers to the safety methods devised for hardware, mobile devices, applications, and computer systems.
These security solutions ensure the prevention of data manipulation caused by system failure and malicious attacks. The role of IT security also extends to the detection of malware and security threats. In case a data attack occurs, IT security tools again come into play to eliminate the threat and control the risk factor.
IT security exists in various forms, including solutions, programs, tools, strategies, and human resources. These resources come in handy to deal with several security concerns, like cyber-attacks or improper functioning of a physical network unit. Some of these security issues arise due to the interference of third and unauthorized parties. However, many issues happen due to poor maintenance of components and hardware instead of malicious activities.
On the whole, every company having a link with any digital resource requires an effective IT security plan to preserve its assets and sensitive information.
Fundamental Principles of IT Security
While IT security revolves around data protection, it is backed by many goals. If it fails to meet these objectives, it loses its usefulness.
When designing a security program, IT security teams usually ensure the finished product can effectively fulfill these goals. It would not be wrong to say that these objectives help determine the credibility of an IT security tool.
Let’s find out what principles IT security strategies are based on.
Every successful organization or business has rivals who always try to gain access to its sensitive data. Once they steal data, they use it to achieve their evil goals. As a result, the organization incurs a loss of privacy and damage to its reputation.
IT security strategy prevents unauthorized access and maintains the confidentiality of data and information. Whether the data is stored or in transit, it will be visible to only those with authorized access. End-to-end encryption is also an IT security solution.
When data scatter across a wide network of computers or passes through multiple layers of digital processing, there are high chances of data modification. This unwanted data distortion is very harmful to business operations.
Thus, IT experts design tools that keep the data intact and prevent potential malware from changing data contents.
No firm can afford to let the operations stop for a moment. So, the data and information must always be available when needed without any delay.
Therefore, IT security maintains the availability of data and allows the organization to process, modify, and transfer it anytime. IT security also includes the protection of hardware and operating systems that may affect data availability.
Types of IT Security
IT security can be divided into many types, typically depending on its application, protection coverage, and security risks it deals with. Here we will explain important types of IT security in detail, so let’s get started!
An organization’s network or system involves hundreds of devices interlinked via in-house and remote connections. These devices often host viruses and offer a pathway for these viruses to enter the system and digital data.
IT security protects endpoint devices from malware exposure to ensure the protection of data stored in and circulating across the system. The ever-increasing trend of remote working has made endpoint security inevitable for every organization.
As cloud computing offers several benefits, it also puts a network at risk of common cyber security threats. Therefore, IT cloud security is a must to save a cloud infrastructure and environment from the consequences of cyber attacks. These solutions work as a barrier between security risks and the applications, protecting the organization’s data shared internally via the Internet.
The main concern in this type of IT security is protecting a network, its critical infrastructure, and its linked digital resources. This security may involve configurations, policies, and practices, such as network segmentation and content inspection. Also, it ensures protection against breaching, misuse, and manipulation of data processed within a network.
Sometimes, users or employees of an organization also become the reason for security threats. During handling and transference of data, a misinformed decision causes the system to incur an attack or data modification. This type of IT security focuses on protecting systems while creating threat awareness among the users.
Attackers also target containers to steal sensitive data. This data breach threat emphasizes the need for special security processes known as container security. This security covers containers, container pipelines, codes stored in containers, and container infrastructure.
IT security also extends its services to prevent and detect cybersecurity risks affecting IoT (Internet of Things). This security practice also protects the devices included in the IoT network.
Developers follow the practice of installing built-in security programs in applications to keep them safe against malicious attacks. Other security practices also include assessing apps’ vulnerabilities and remediating those weaknesses before any attack.
Potential Risks Covered By IT Security
IT security tools and technologies protect data, applications, networks, and systems from various types of security risks, such as:
Both physical (hardware) and non-physical (programs) components of a computer network can undergo damage and failure that directly affect data integrity and availability. These damages often lead to disturbed business operations, which causes a company to face a loss of time and profit. Additionally, such system failures also tarnish the reputation of companies.
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)
APTs are a kind of cybersecurity threat. In this type of risk, the attacker infiltrates a system and network to illegally obtain private and confidential data. The sophisticated threat actors use advanced techniques to go undetected by the organization’s radars and intrusion detection systems. Thus, they keep stealing the desired information for an undefined period.
Malware is a form of cyber attack executed with the intention to destroy computer networks and services. This attack can be carried out with corrupted code, malicious software, or infected files.
The attacker directs the code to the rival’s system from any location. When the system receives the code, it also corrupts other files and the system’s functions. Thus, malware attacks bring system operations to a halt in a few seconds.
Denial-Of-Service (DOS) And Distributed Denial-Of-Service (DDOS) Attack
DoS attack is a type of cybercrime. According to this threat, the attacker sends a flood of data packets to a server or system, causing it to shut down temporarily. Attackers also use millions of bots to launch a more devastating DoS attack called a DDoS attack.
Both attacks are backed by malicious intentions, such as demanding a ransom, interrupting the opponent’s web services, defaming the rivals, etc. Attackers also use DoS and DDoS attacks to blackmail the victims by leaking their private information or damaging their networks permanently.
External threats and outsiders do not only target an organization’s digital assets. Sometimes, the former and current employees also attack the IT infrastructure and cloud services of the organization they were/are associated with. Not just employees but business partners also launch cyber attacks to take revenge on their opponents.
As these people have data access and are aware of security flaws within a network, they can easily deplete security barriers without being detected. This way, they can also hack precious data and utilize it to benefit other competitive companies.
Sophisticated hackers opt for phishing scams to seize illegal access to confidential data and records. To achieve this goal, hackers show themselves as a legitimate company or reliable source and urge the victims to share private data.
Phishing attacks take place through emails, social media accounts, and SMS. Usually, attackers utilize this technique to get confidential information, such as credit card data, customer data, login passwords, verification codes, etc.
Why IT Security Is So Important For Digital World
More and more IT security systems and solutions are being introduced, keeping the needs of organizations in focus. Amid all this, the scope of an IT career is also improving day by day.
If you want to develop an interest in IT security, stay engaged to know why this field enjoys so much value in today’s digital world.
Companies Have High-Security Risks
Many rivalries surface due to the competition among companies. For many fraudulent actors, targeting the rival’s business data and operations is the best way to degrade the rival. This results in an increased risk factor.
IT security comes to the rescue and prevents data breaches. It also monitors networks to detect the presence of cyber threats. Therefore, organizations and business owners invest huge revenues in strengthening and maintaining IT security systems.
Remote And Cloud Networking Are More Popular
Remote working is a new norm as this practice boosts a company’s productivity, eliminating the need for extensive office space. Many organizations are considering switching a particular part of the office workload to remote working.
Besides advantages, remote work also welcomes security threats that make their way into the network through remote devices. The network, endpoint, and internet security ensure the safety of the entire system from errors and attacks.
Similarly, many organizations are using clouds to store and share their data efficiently. Threat actors focus on stealing data by damaging cloud networking. Therefore, cloud security is very crucial for every organization employing cloud services.
Security Threats Are More Advanced And Complicated
The advancement in technology contributes to the invention and upgradation of digital resources. However, this advanced technology also elevates the risk of security breaches simultaneously. So, modern IT security tools and processes are needed to prevent, detect, and mitigate complex security risks of the 21st century.
IT Security And Information Security: Are They The Same Or Different?
IT security (short for Information Technology) and Information security seem to be the same concepts. However, both are different from each other. Both are related to the security of information but in different ways.
IT security is the defense system of any information that exists or is stored digitally. It refers to dealing with digital tools to ensure the protection of information.
On the other hand, Information security includes practices aimed at securing digital or physical information. Info security uses both applications and physical tools to perform security-related tasks.
IT Security Vs. Cybersecurity
Both have distinct goals. Cybersecurity is the process or strategy that protects a system against fraudulent and malicious activities and attacks. In contrast, IT security encompasses cybersecurity aspects in addition to protection against hardware and software failures. In simple words, IT security also covers equipment protection related to data integrity and availability. Thus, IT security is a more vast field compared to cybersecurity.
Keeping business operations undisrupted is vital for the development of a company. However, business operations largely depend on the company’s data privacy, availability, and integrity. IT security keeps these factors unaffected and minimizes the risk of cyber attacks. It also secures networks, cloud environments, devices, and hardware components from spontaneous failures and targeted attacks.