Information Security Management System to Protect Information Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability

Bineesh Mathew | June 18, 2021

Information Security Management
In this modern world of technology, ensuring information security is very important for the smooth running of any organization. Unfortunately, there are many information/cyber security threats, including malware, ransom ware, emotet, denial of service, man in the middle, phishing, SQL injection, and password attacks. Whatever your business is, no doubt, it can collapse your business and your dreams. However, the severity of its after-effects depends upon the type of business you do.

As information security threat has become a hurdle for all organizations, companies must implement an effective information security management system. In 2019 alone, the total number of breaches was 1473. It is increasing every year as businesses are doing digital transformation widely. Phishing is the most damaging and widespread threat to businesses, accounting for 90% of organizations' breaches.

This article lets you understand what ISMS is and how it can be effectively implemented in your organization.

Information Security Management System (ISMS)

According to ISO/IEC 27001, Information Security Management System (ISMS) refers to various procedures, policies, and guidelines to manage and protect organizations' information assets. In addition, the system also comprises various other associated resources and activities frameworks for information security management.

Organizations are jointly responsible for maintaining information security. People responsible for security in an organization ensure that all employees diligently meet all policies, guidelines, and other objectives regarding protecting information. Also, they safeguard all assets of the organization from external cyber threats and attacks.

The goal and objective of the system are to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of assets from all threats and vulnerabilities. Effectively implementing an information security management system in your organization avoids the possibility of leaking personal, sensitive, and confidential data and getting exposed to harmful hands. The step-by-step implementation of ISMS includes the process of designing, implementing, managing, and maintaining it.

Implementing ISMS in Organizations

The standard for establishing and maintaining an information security management system in any organization is ISO 27001. However, as the standard has broad building blocks in designing and implementing ISMS, organizations can shape it according to their requirements.

Effectively implementing ISMS in organizations in compliance with ISO 27001 lets you enjoy significant benefits. However, an in-depth implementation and training process has to be ensured to realize these benefits comprehensively. Therefore, let us look into how an information security management system can be successfully implemented in your organization.

Identification

The first step in implementing ISMS is identifying the assets vulnerable to security threats and determining their value to your organization. In this process, devices and various types of data are listed according to their relative importance. Assets can be divided across three dimensions: confidentiality, integrity, and availability. It will allow you to give a rating to your assets according to their sensitivity and importance to the company.

  • Confidentiality is ensuring that the assets are accessed by authorized persons only.
  • Integrity means ensuring that the data and information to be secured are complete, correct, and safeguarded thoroughly.
  • Availability is ensuring that the protected information is available to the authorized persons when they require it.


Policies and Procedures and Approval from the Management

In this step, you will have to create policies and procedures based on the insights you got from the first step. It is said to be the riskiest step as it will enforce new behaviors in your organization. Rules and regulations will be set for all the employees in this step. Therefore, it becomes the riskiest step as people always resist accepting and following the changes. You also should get the management approval once the policies are written.


Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is an integral part of implementing an Information Security Management System. Risk assessment allows you to provide values to your assets and realize which asset needs utmost care. For example, a competitor, an insider, or a cybercriminal group may want to compromise your information and steal your information. With a simple brainstorming session, you can realize and identify various potential sources of risk and potential damage. A well-documented risk assessment plan and methodology will make the process error-free.


Risk Treatment

In this step, you will have to implement the risk assessment plan you defined in the previous step. It is a time-consuming process, especially for larger organizations. This process is to get a clear picture of both internal and external dangers that can happen to the information in your organization.

The process of risk treatment also will help you to reduce the risks, which are not acceptable. Additionally, you may have to create a detailed report comprising all the steps you took during the risk assessment and treatment phase in this step.


Training

If you want effectively implement all the policies and procedures, providing training to employees is necessary. To make people perform as expected, educating your personnel about the necessity of implementing an information security management system is crucial. The most common reason for the failure of security management failure is the absence of this program.


Implementing ISMS

Once policies and procedures are written, and necessary training is provided to all employees, you can get into the actual process of implementing it in your organization. Then, as all the employees follow the new set of rules and regulations, you can start evaluating the system's effectiveness.


Monitoring and Auditing

Here you check whether the objectives set were being met or not. If not, you may take corrective and preventive actions. In addition, as part of auditing, you also ensure all employees are following what was being implemented in the information security management system. This is because people may likely follow wrong things without the awareness that they are doing something wrong. In that case, disciplinary actions have to be taken to prevent and correct it. Here you make sure and ensure all the controls are working as you expected.


Management Review

The final step in the process of implementing an information security management system is management review. In this step, you work with the senior management to understand your ISMS is achieving the goals. You also utilize this step to set future goals in terms of your security strategy.

Once the implementation and review are completed successfully, the organization can apply for certification to ensure the best information security management practices.


Summing UP

Organizations benefit from implementing and certifying their information security management system. The organization has defined and implemented a management system by building awareness, training employees, applying the proper security measures, and executing a systematic approach to information security management. Thus implementation has the following benefits:

  • Minimized risk of information loss.
  • The increased trust of customers in the company as the company is ISO/IEC 27001 certified.
  • Developed competencies and awareness about information security among all employees
  • The organization meets various regulatory requirements.

Frequently Asked questions


What are the three principles of information security?

Confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA) are the three main principles and objectives of information security. These are the fundamental principles and the heart of information security.


How does information security management work?

Information security management works on five pillars. The five pillars are assessment, detection, reaction, documentation, and prevention. Effective implementation of these pillars determines the success of the information security management in your company.


What are the challenges in information security management?

Challenges in information security management in your company can be the following:

  • You can’t identify your most critical data
  • Policies aren’t in place for protecting sensitive information.
  • Employees aren’t trained in company policies.
  • Technology isn’t implemented for your policies.
  • You can’t limit vendor access to sensitive information.

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Know the Effective Use of Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity

Article | March 17, 2022

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Essential Data Loss Prevention Best Practices

Article | March 16, 2022

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How to Overcome Virtualization Security Risks

Article | March 4, 2022

Virtualization has gained popularity in recent years because of its ability to improve efficiency and scalability at lower costs. Server virtualization is used by over 90% of businesses, and many companies are looking into other virtualization alternatives, such as application, desktop, network, and storage virtualization. With the increasing popularity of virtualization, security has become one of the most significant concerns. As a result, there is a need to pay close attention to virtualization security risks. When compared to traditional server infrastructure, virtualization provides certain obvious security advantages. Virtual machines (VMs) have a lot of benefits, including increased availability, isolation from the operating systems and actual hardware they run on, and enhanced security measures that come standard with most virtualization solutions. Because so many firms use this technology, it's an attractive target for hackers and other cybercriminals. However, virtualization is no more or less of a security risk than any other component of your IT infrastructure. Its use necessitates a greater understanding of the problems that IT managers problems. Virtualization security is an essential component of a larger security strategy. Virtualization security must be applied to all physical, virtual, and cloud layers in today's settings, where more than 80% of them are virtualized. “Virtualization allows organizations to cut costs, improve efficiency and increase essential infrastructure agility, but it also brings complexities – including scale and management concerns that impact the surrounding IT infrastructure. We support HP’s cloud initiative of delivering highly scalable and adaptable global-class services to ensure optimized application delivery to users and continue to collaborate with HP to help enterprises maximize the value of their virtualization investments.” - Karl Triebes, senior vice president, Development, and chief technology officer, HP Read on to know more about the risks of virtualization and how to mitigate them efficiently. Top Virtualization Security Risks Virtualization security risks are known to affect businesses adversely. So, it is better to be aware of these potential risks and find ways to mitigate them. Some of the top virtualization security issues can be: • Keeping snapshots on VMs • External attacks • Network configuration • File sharing between VM and host • Offline virtual machine security • Viruses, ransomware, and other malware • VM sprawl Ways to Mitigate Virtualization Security Risks Now that we've covered the potential risks associated with virtualization, let’s look at reducing these risks. Here are some things you may do to lessen the effects of security issues mentioned above: Protect Your Data Centre by Securing Management Interface Virtualization systems may improve data center efficiency and cost-effectiveness, but they also add complexity with a different administration interface to protect. As a result, agencies must ensure that their management interface is safe. Even if an attacker gains administrative access to a system, they cannot take over a large part of the data center and alter hardware resources. The best defense is to restrict access to a minimum. In addition to needing a strong multifactor authentication, cybersecurity teams should guarantee that the interface is only available from a virtual local area network devoted to that purpose. For administrators to get access, they first need to connect to the dedicated VLAN by VPN or jump box. This significantly reduces the risk of a breach because it prevents attackers from accidentally coming across the interface during routine network scans. Find Out Warning Signs, Carefully Monitoring Networks Even the most meticulously constructed security safeguards can fail at times. Therefore, monitoring networks and systems for signs of compromise is one of the most critical tasks for agency cybersecurity teams. This necessitates a robust set of technologies and processes, such as intrusion detection and prevention systems, thorough logging and security data, and event management systems that correlate collected data. While developing monitoring techniques, another thing to keep in mind is to pay extra attention to monitoring virtualization platforms for signs of compromise, like unusual inter-VM network activity or administrative connections from unknown sources. Protect Your Environment with Strong Virtualization Security Tools Companies can deploy robust virtualization security tools to protect businesses from virtualization security risks. This will help safeguard against any potential threats and breaches. Some of the practical tools can be: Antivirus and anti-malware software Change auditing software Backup and replication software Have a Well-Designed Disaster Recovery (DR) Plan and Strong Backup Whether you experience a cyberattack or a hurricane bringing down your production data center, a proper disaster recovery plan and backup are critical to guaranteeing business continuity. In addition, having a disaster recovery site in a remote data center or the cloud can help reduce the virtualization issues of extended downtime. You can consider three steps as you put together your disaster recovery plan: Back up VMs and physical servers Use the 3-2-1 backup rule Consider replication Summing Up Modern businesses must protect their virtual environments from various virtualization security attacks. Keeping all software up to date, utilizing antivirus software, following configuration best practices, and providing frequent user training are essential tactics. However, some threats will get through even the finest defenses, so it's critical to invest in virtualization security solutions that can track changes and logons to help you maintain security at all levels, all the time. Frequently Asked Questions Does virtualization improve security? Virtualization increases physical security by lowering physical hardware elements. In a virtualized environment, less hardware means fewer data centers. In addition, server virtualization allows servers to revert to their default state in an incursion. What are the basics of virtualization security? The basics of virtualization security are: Secure all the parts of the infrastructure Reduce the open ESXi firewall ports numbers Have a robust backup and disaster recovery (DR) plan What are some of the types of virtualization? Some of the types of virtualization are: Desktop Virtualization Application Virtualization Server Virtualization Network Virtualization Storage Virtualization

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DATA SECURITY

A Complete Guide to Database Security Best Practices

Article | March 1, 2022

Database security is critical because it contains a vast volume of highly sensitive data. These features of the database make it prone to cyber-attacks. However, what measures can be taken to safeguard data against such threats? In addition, some catastrophes, such as system outages, unauthorized access, and data loss, can occur if you do not have best practices for database security. According to the Q3 report of Risk Based Security 2020, 36 billion data were compromised between January and September 2020. The report also emphasizes the importance of adequate database security best practices to prevent data loss. According to IBM, data breach costs increased from USD 3.86 million to USD 4.24 million in 2021. In the 17-year history, this is the highest average total cost. “We believe that data is the phenomenon of our time. It is the world’s new natural resource. It is the new basis of competitive advantage, transforming every profession and industry. If all of this is true – even inevitable – then cybercrime, by definition, is the greatest threat to every profession, every industry, and every company in the world." - IBM Database security practices differ from website security practices. Software solutions, physical actions, and even employee education are part of the former. Therefore, it’s crucial to secure your site to limit the attack routes that cybercriminals might use. Database Security Challenges With the evolution of the internet and the growing dependence, numerous services based on internet-based databases have emerged. Therefore, the threats and challenges that databases face have increased manifolds.This provides online foul players increased chances to turn things into their benefits. Online fraudsters are looking for a chance to get into database accounts and make use of them in their favour. So, there should be a well-planned strtategy to mitigate risks, and understand all the potential breaches. Some of the challenges and threats faced by database security are: Intellectual property rights Malware Backup attacks Database survivability Physical location security Data quality Human error Insider threats Software vulnerabilities Database Security Best Practices The term refers to a set of procedures used to prevent security breaches in a database management system. As a result, the database's reliability can be kept up by following certain rules on a regular basis. Read on to learn about database management best practices and the steps your company should take to secure them. Respond to Potential Attacks by Actively Scanning Your Database for Breach Attempts The more often you check your database for possible data breaches, the more secure you are and the faster you can react to any problems. You can use monitoring software, such as SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer, SolarWinds Database Performance Monitor, Paessler PRTG Network Monitor, and SQL Power Tools, to keep track of all actions on the database server and receive alerts if there are any breaches. Set up escalation measures in the event of a potential attack to keep your critical information secure. Another database security best practice is conducting frequent security audits and cybersecurity penetration tests. These allow you to identify potential security flaws and fix them before a breach occurs. Create Backups for Database to Mitigate Losing Sensitive Information While it is common to have a back-up of your website, it is critical to back up your database also. This significantly reduces the chances of losing sensitive data because of malicious attacks or data corruption. Also, to boost database security, ensure that the backup is stored and encrypted on a different server. This ensures that your data is recoverable and secure even if the primary database server is compromised or unavailable. Regular Updates and Monitoring Can Save you from Hackers and Breaches Always use the latest database management software, such as MySQL, Microsoft Access, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and dBASE, as an adequate database security best practice. In addition, keep your operating system up to date to stay protected from the latest security threats. Any program connecting to the database from a third party can pose a security risk. To avoid external flaws, keep all plug-ins up-to-date. Ensure that all database security settings are turned on by default, especially when connected to multiple third-party apps. Understand the Various Types of Data and How to Categorize to Protect it Effectively To secure data successfully, you must first understand what types of data you have. Then, your data repositories will be scanned, and the results will be reported using data discovery technologies. Using a data classification technique, you can organize the data into categories. Data discovery engines commonly use regular expressions for their searches, which are highly flexible but challenging to create. Data detection and classification technology allow you to limit user access to vital data and avoid storing it in insecure locations, lowering the risk of data loss and inappropriate data exposure. All essential or sensitive data should be tagged with a digital signature that indicates its categorization to safeguard it according to its importance to the company. Summing Up Database security best practices encompass a wide range of security concerns and activities. However, the most effective security measures discussed in this article help keep your database secure. Keeping your database safe from unwanted attacks is a multi-faceted task that includes everything from the physical location of the servers to limiting the possibility of human mistakes. Even though data breaches are becoming rampant, following sound database security best practices reduces the chances of being targeted and helps prevent breaches. Frequently Asked Questions What is database security? Businesses take steps to protect their databases from both internal and external threats. Database security protects the database, the data it holds, the database management system, and the numerous applications that access it. What are the types of database security threats? There are many types of database security threats. Some of them are: Insider Threats Human Error Exploitation of Database Software Vulnerabilities SQL/NoSQL Injection Attacks Buffer Overflow Attacks Denial of Service (DoS/DDoS) Attacks Malware An Evolving IT Environment What are the different types of databases? Databases can be relational databases, NoSQL databases, cloud databases, columnar databases, wide column databases, object-oriented databases, key-value databases, and hierarchical databases.

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Trends & Technologies, Inc

Trends empowers our clients with technology-enabled business services allowing them to transcend. Our wide range of services, solutions, and products – from network infrastructure, virtualization, storage, security, cloud, collaboration, software services, managed services, to business analytics and application development – provide the right tools for our clients to achieve their business goals and thrive in a constantly changing and competitive landscape.

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