This article is part two in a two-part series highlighting the CIA Triad, which is a foundational security model that is utilized in developing cyber security strategy. It is comprised of three core principles—confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Part one in the series is available here.

You don’t have to be an expert to appreciate the series. It’s actually intended for executives with the aim of providing some cybersecurity background for better decision-making around security.

A Deeper Look at the Three Pillars in Action

Remember that the CIA Triad is made up of the core tenets of confidentiality, integrity, and availability. CIA Triad

  • Confidentiality refers to protecting information such that only those with authorized access will have it.
  • Integrity relates to the veracity and reliability of data. Data must be authentic, and any attempts to alter it must be detectable.
  • Availability is a crucial component because data is only useful if it is accessible. Availability ensures that data can be accessed when needed and will continue to function when required.

That’s the theory behind the Triad. Now, we will take a look at how Triad is put into action cyber security strategy with some real-life examples.

→ Putting Confidentiality into Practice:

    1. Data encryption is one way to ensure confidentiality and that unauthorized users cannot retrieve data for which they do not have access.
    2. Access control is also an integral part of maintaining confidentiality by managing which users have permissions for accessing data.
    3. Life science organizations that utilize patient data must maintain confidentiality or violate HIPAA.

→ Putting Integrity into Practice: 

    1. Event log management within a Security Incident and Event Management system is crucial for practicing data integrity.
    2. Implementing version control and audit trails into your IT program will allow your organization to guarantee that its data is accurate and authentic.
    3. Integrity is an essential component for organizations with compliance requirements. For example, a condition of the SEC compliance requirements for financial services organizations requires providing accurate and complete information to federal regulators.

→ Putting Availability into Practice:

    1. Employing a backup system and a disaster recovery plan is essential for maintaining data availability should a disaster, cyber-attack, or another threat disrupt operations.
    2. Utilizing cloud solutions for data storage is one way in which an organization can increase the availability of data for its users.
    3. As the reliance on data analytics expands, the need for data to be available and accessible grows for sectors like financial services and life sciences.

Is the CIA Triad Limited as a Cyber Security Strategy?

As the amount of data explodes and as the complexity of securing that data has deepened, the CIA Triad may seem to be an oversimplification of the reality of modern-day cyber security strategy. However, it is critical to remember that the Triad is not actually a strategy; but instead, it is a starting place from which a security team can create a strategy. It is a foundational concept on which to build a full-scale, robust cyber security strategy. It cannot eliminate risk, but it can help prioritize systemic risks to address them better. Additionally, the CIA Triad cannot prevent all forms of compromise, but it helps reduce the likelihood of unnecessary exposure and can help decrease the impact of a cyber attack.


Related Content → Is Your Security Posture Negligent? Not with Multi-layered Cybersecurity.


How Does Coretelligent Utilize the CIA Triad?

Coretelligent incorporates the core tenets of the CIA triad in our cybersecurity, managed IT, cloud solutions, and more. In addition, we practice defense in depth strategy, which is a system of overlapping layers of protection that range from easy-to-implement controls to complex security measures. These layers are designed to create an interlocking barrier, not unlike the security system at your home. You can learn more about the defense in depth here.

We guide our clients on how best to balance making their data secure, available, and reliable. To learn more about our solutions, reach out for a consultation with our team.

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