What is CIA Triad: Introduction, Examples, Uses and Importance

What is CIA Triad Introduction, Examples, Uses and Importance


CIA Triad – What’s the first thing you think about when you think about the CIA triad The US Secret Agency, which hunts dangerous criminals? This CIA triad has to do with cyber security. This blog will provide more information about CIA Triad.

What is CIA Triad in Cyber Security?

CIA stands for Confidentiality Integrity and Availability.

The CIA triad is a well-known model that serves as the foundation of security systems. These are used to identify and create strategies for problem-solving.

Because they are vital to the operation of a business, the CIA triad separates these concepts into different focal points. Privacy, integrity, and accessibility of information. This distinction is important because it guides security teams in determining which approach they may take to each issue. After completing these three requirements, your organization’s security profile will be stronger and better equipped to handle threatening situations.

1. Confidentiality

Confidentiality refers to the efforts of an organization to keep data secret or hidden. This is done by restricting access to information to prevent the unintentional or intentional sharing of data with unauthorized persons. Protecting confidentiality is as simple as making sure that no one without the authority to access your company’s assets is possible. A good system, on the other hand, ensures that access is granted to those who need it.

Employees involved in the management of an example Access to spreadsheets, bank accounts, and other information relating to cash flow should be available to the organization’s finances. It’s possible, however, that only a few CEOs are involved and the great majority of staff will have access to it.

There are many ways to breach confidentiality. This could include direct attacks on systems that the attacker does not have access to. It can also involve an attacker trying to access a database or program to steal or modify data.

Direct cyber attacks may use strategies such as man-in-the-middle attacks (MITM), in which an attacker inserts themselves into the information stream to intercept data, and then either takes it or modifies it. Certain attackers may also use network eavesdropping to gain access to credentials. An attacker might attempt to gain additional system privileges in order to get to the next level.

Not all privacy breaches are intentional. Human error and inadequate security measures could also be responsible for privacy breaches. Eg. They might forget to secure their passwords for either a personal or professional account. They may leave their accounts unprotected or share the password with another person with trust, making the account vulnerable to hackers.

To protect your data, use encryption methods. This will ensure that no attacker can decrypt it even if they have access. This is the best way to avoid it. AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), and DES (Data Encryption Standard are two examples of encryption standards). You can also protect your data with a VPN tunnel. Virtual Private Network (or VPN) enables secure data transmission across networks.

Also read: Top 10 DDoS Protection Services for 2022

2. Integrity

Integrity means that you ensure your data are reliable and unaltered. Only data that is reliable, accurate, and legal will preserve its integrity.

To determine if our data has been modified, we use a hash algorithm.

We use the SHA (Secure Hash Algorithm), and MD5 types (Message Direct 5) If we use SHA-1, MD5 will be a 128-bit hash, while SHA will be a 160-bit. You could also use additional SHA techniques such as SHA-0 and SHA-2.

Let’s say Host A wants to transmit data to Host B while maintaining integrity. A hash function will run on the data to generate an arbitrary H1 hash value. This hash value is then added to the data. After receiving the packet, Host “B”, applies the same hash function to the data and returns the hash value H2. If H1 = H2, data integrity has been maintained and contents are not altered.

3. Available

This means that users must have easy access to the network. This applies to both data and systems. To ensure availability, the network administrator must keep gear up to date, carry out regular upgrades, develop a fail-over plan, and avoid network bottlenecks. As its resources become depleted, a network can become inaccessible. Companies and individuals that depend on the network for their business may feel the consequences quite strongly. These attacks should be stopped by taking the appropriate measures.

Organizations can also use redundant networks and servers and applications to ensure availability These devices can be installed to make it possible for the main system to be accessed in case of a failure or malfunction. You can increase your availability by updating software and security systems. This will reduce the chance that a program may fail or malfunction. A recently discovered malware could infiltrate your system. Businesses can quickly recover availability after a disaster by having backups and complete disaster recovery plans.

Examples from CIA Triad

Let’s find out how to understand how the CIA works with a real-life example. An ATM is a place where customers can check their bank balances or other information. The basic ideas of the triad are addressed by an ATM’s safeguards:

  • Two-factor authentication (a debit or credit card with a PIN number) is required before sensitive data can be accessed.
  • The ATM and bank software protect data integrity by storing all withdrawal and transfer records made via ATMs in the user’s bank account.
  • Accessibility is possible because the ATM is always open and accessible to the public.

A Brief History of the CIA Triad

Over time, the CIA Triad evolved to information security professionals sharing knowledge and not having a single advocate. In 1976, the U.S. Air Force study codified confidentiality. In 1987, a paper stating that data accuracy is a key concern for business computers showed integrity. Although it is not clear where exactly this information came from, it was popularized in 1988 by the Morris worm attack that had devastating consequences for thousands of UNIX machines. It required the partitioning of the internet for several days to get the mess cleaned up. The CIA’s fundamental idea was founded in 1988, according to estimates.

Why should you use the CIA Triad?

The CIA triad provides a simple yet comprehensive high-level checklist to help you assess your security protocols and equipment. All three requirements–confidentiality, integrity, and availability–are met by an efficient system. Insufficient information security is a system that fails to meet one of the three components of the CIA triangle.

The CIA security triangle can be used to determine what went wrong and what worked after a negative event. It is possible, for example, that availability was affected by ransomware or a virus attack, but the security mechanisms were able to protect crucial data. This information can be used for strengthening weak areas or repeating effective strategies.

When should you use the CIA Triad?

Because each element of the CIA triad is vital, it should be used in all security situations. It is particularly useful for creating systems to classify data and control access credentials. The CIA triad should be used when dealing with cyber vulnerabilities in your organization. It can be a powerful tool to stop the Cyber Kill Chain. This is the process of identifying and executing a cyberattack. The CIA security triad can be used to identify potential attackers and to put in place policies and mechanisms to protect those assets.

The CIA Trilogy can be used to train employees in cybersecurity implementation. It uses real-life examples to help them understand.

Also read: IoT Cybersecurity: What is it and What is the Key to IoT Cybersecurity?

Importance of the CIA Triad

Organizations are facing problems today due to data theft and security breaches. Recent polls and reports reflect the negative picture of an organization’s cybersecurity posture. Current news is the Facebook data breach scandal, where millions of people’s personal data were exposed. Lax standards have led to a majority of businesses having unsecured data. This could lead to data breaches or severe penalties for not complying with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation. To avoid this, enterprises should implement the security controls mentioned above as well as other controls (like SIEM or SOAR) in order to improve their cybersecurity posture.

Implementation of the CIA Triad

When adopting the CIA triad, an organization should follow a set of best practices. These are the top techniques for each of these topics.

1. Confidentiality

  • Based on the rules of privacy, data should be handled with care.
  • 2FA encryption should be mandatory.
  • Regularly update file permissions and access control lists.

2. Integrity

  • Staff members should be aware of the regulations and compliance standards in order to reduce human error.
  • Software is available for backup and recovery.
  • To ensure integrity, use data logs and checksums to verify authenticity.

3. Available

  • Take preventative measures such as failover, RAID, and redundancy. Also, ensure that the systems and applications remain current.
  • Use server or network monitoring tools.
  • Make sure you have a Business continuity (BC) plan in case of data loss.

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