What is Information Assurance?

Information assurance is an important practice in data security. There is increased need to protect business information from degradation, destruction and manipulation by malicious people. As a result, many companies have invested in various infrastructures and personnel to help them implement effective information assurance practices.

Information Assurance

Information assurance refers to the processes involved in protecting information systems like computers and networks from sabotage. These processes may be in the form of identifying and managing risks related to the use, storage and transmission of data across different systems in a company. Information assurance consists of five major functions. They include availability, data integrity, confidentiality, authentication and non-repudiation.

Availability refers to the accessibility of input and output functions in a network system. The main aim of information assurance here is to ensure that data is available for use to only those who are allowed to access it. Data integrity is the assurance that there is no corruption of digital information in the system. In this case, information assurance practices ensure that the information transmitted through the company’s network is accurate and can only be modified or accessed by those authorized to do so.

Authentication ensures that all users access the system with their original identities. These may include passwords, biometrics, digital certificates and security tokens. Confidentiality ensures no sensitive information leaks to the public or unauthorized individuals. It limits access to information regarded as classified corporate data. Non-repudiation are the measures taken by the information assurance professionals to ensure nobody denies an action, such as the receipt of pictures, messages or any other information through the system.

Common Issues Solved by Information Assurance Experts

The most common issue information assurance professionals encounter in the course of their duties is data leakage and loss. A larger percentage of companies fall victims to unauthorized exposure to sensitive and embarrassing information every year. Emails are the most frequent sources of such problems. The other common source involves micro-blogging on social media using the company’s network. System malfunctions, human errors, computer viruses and power outages may also cause data breach and loss.

Information Assurance Training

Individuals who want to specialize in information assurance usually undergo thorough training programs. These programs are meant to equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the potential risks in a company’s IT system and design appropriate preventive mechanisms. They must learn about the five major functions of information assurance and have some background knowledge of computer science and information technology. An experience with research and development is also required.

Information assurance experts who are capable of doing their own research and figuring out various information security solutions stand higher chances of securing lucrative jobs in the industry. The same applies to individuals who acquire certification from recognized professional bodies.

Job Outlook

Information security and assurance is increasingly becoming important, as many threats continue to jeopardize data security across different industries. This means huge career prospects for those who want to become information assurance experts, according to AFCEA International.

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Choosing a career in information assurance is a potentially rewarding decision you won’t regret. The increasing cyber threats from various individuals and countries means organizations have to invest heavily on information security experts to avert problems. All you need is the right attitude, good training , clear vision and hard work to make it as an information assurance professional.