This is not about the CIA, the US intelligence organization. Instead, the CIA triad is the foundation of information security which answers questions regarding the cause of any security breach. Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability (CIA) form the triad. Employees stealing confidential data or clients getting baited through phishing links means one out of the three principles has been violated.
Cybersecurity revolves around this triad, and all corporate IT teams evaluate potential threats and security breaches based on confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility and then accordingly deploy levels of security measures.
- Confidentiality: This refers to the level of effort an organization puts to protect their restricted data. At the most basic level, those authorized to access the data for their purposes must be allowed to access it. The other party who is restricted or does not have access to that piece of confidential data must be actively blocked from obtaining access. Confidentiality is not easy to maintain. It needs continuous checks and monitoring to ensure that there is no breach. However, at times confidentiality can be violated by direct cyber-attacks or malware implantation in the system.
- Integrity: It ensures that the data that is being protected is not only accurate but is only authentic, untampered, and reliable to hold. This is true when buying goods and other commodities online when the customer is aware of the price and look of the commodity they purchased. In this situation, the purchased commodity is said to have integrity. This can be hampered through not only attack vectors but through general human error due to coding errors or not updating system files on time.
- Availability: This part reinforces the availability of working mechanisms such as the network, server, resources, and systems. It is also responsible for ensuring that the authorized clients are allowed to access the requested resources when needed.
Out of the three, availability is the most vulnerable and can give birth to attack vectors if not maintained carefully. For instance, without using updated systems, overlooking issues in the active directory, or overseeing any misuse of the private network. One of the main reasons which affect the availability is denial-of-service attacks. This happens when IT developers ignore small degradations to the server or web-based services, which could happen due to malicious codes or human errors.
Advantages of CIA Triad
The CIA triad plays a crucial part in cybersecurity. It allows IT professionals to start tracing any cyberattacks from the very root and then find the attack vector used. This enables them to develop certain specialized security measures to prevent anything similar from repeating.