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Information security

Information securitymeans protecting information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction.[1]

The terms information security, computer securityand information assuranceare frequently incorrectly used interchangeably. These fields are interrelated often and share the common goals of protecting the confidentiality, integrityand availabilityof information; however, there are some subtle differences between them.

These differences lie primarily in the approach to the subject, the methodologies used, and the areas of concentration. Information security is concerned with the confidentiality, integrity and availability of dataregardless of the form the data may take: electronic, print, or other forms.

Computer security can focus on ensuring the availability and correct operation of a computer systemwithout concern for the information stored or processed by the computer.

Governments, military, corporations, financial institutions, hospitals, and private businessesamass a great deal of confidential information about their employees, customers, products, research, and financial status. Most of this information is now collected, processed and stored on electronic computersand transmitted across networksto other computers.

Should confidential information about a business' customers or finances or new product line fall into the hands of a competitor, such a breach of security could lead to lost business, law suits or even bankruptcyof the business. Protecting confidential information is a business requirement, and in many cases also an ethical and legal requirement.

For the individual, information security has a significant effect on privacy, which is viewed very differently in different cultures.

The field of information security has grown and evolved significantly in recent years. As a career choice there are many ways of gaining entry into the field. It offers many areas for specialization including: securing network(s) and allied infrastructure, securing applicationsand databases, security testing, information systems auditing, business continuity planningand digital forensicsscience, to name a few, which are carried out by Information Security Consultants

This article presents a general overview of information security and its core concepts.

 History

Since the early days of writing, heads of stateand military commanders understood that it was necessary to provide some mechanism to protect the confidentiality of written correspondence and to have some means of detecting tampering.

Julius Caesaris credited with the invention of the Caesar cipherc50 B.C., which was created in order to prevent his secret messages from being read should a message fall into the wrong hands.

World War IIbrought about many advancements in information security and marked the beginning of the professional field of information security.

The end of the 20th century and early years of the 21st century saw rapid advancements in telecommunications, computing hardwareand software, and data encryption. The availability of smaller, more powerful and less expensive computing equipment made electronic data processingwithin the reach of small businessand the home user. These computers quickly became interconnected through a network generically called the Internet or World Wide Web.

The rapid growth and widespread use of electronic data



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Sun, 19/12/2010 - 12:40

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