What Information Security Is and Why It Is Important

Information is one of the most important non-tangible assets of any organization, and like other assets, it is the responsibility of the management to protect it appropriately. Upcoming news about missing data scares organizations as they rely completely on information technology which carries an abundance of sensitive data and customer information. It is dated back to 1980 when the use of computers was limited to computer centers and the security of the computer stands for the physical computing infrastructure. However, the openness of internet has simplified processes with in-house information storage, but it also happens to be a great weakness in terms of information security.

The internet has evolved with the exchange of communication from a reliable group of trusted people to millions of frequently interacting anonymous users. Those on the internet are not bothered by lack of information but are more worried about handling excess unnecessary information that they come across. Morris Worm was the first internet worm that was developed in 1988 and infected 10% of systems. [1] Since then, these incidents have become increasingly complex and expensive. To combat this, awareness on information security has increased and many organizations have been making efforts to prioritize their data.

Information security, also known as Infosec, is a process of formulating strategies, tools, and policies to detect, document, prevent, and combat threats targeted on digital and non-digital information devices. Information security in direct context is establishing well-defined security processes to protect information irrespective of its state of presence—transit, processed, or at rest.

Why Information Security Is Important?

When anyone thinks of securing information, the first tip that they would come across is to create a password that is tough to crack (often so tough that the user forgets it!), but protecting information is beyond just protecting data under a password. More and more businesses are becoming victims of cybercrime.

According to McAfee, the damages associated with cybercrime now stand at over $400 billion, up from $250 billion 2 years ago, showing that there is a significant spike in more sophisticated hacking. [2]
To combat the situation, organizations are investing in security protocols and digital frontiers. However, many still believe that information security is a burden.

Five reasons why investing in information security is significant:

Rising cost of breaches Cost of a breach = actual financial loss + cost of incident handling

Global average cost is $3.86 million, the United States is leading with $7.91 million [3]

Increasingly sophisticated attackers Sophisticated attacks, like DDoS, Fileless malware, etc., are on rise. DDoS attacks have increased by 110% in third quarter of 2018. [4] Fileless attacks are 10 times likely to succeed than file-based attacks [5]
Proliferation of IoT devices IoT is an easy way for cybercriminals into the business. IoT devices are expected to grow to 20.4 billion by 2020 with $134 billion annual investment till 2022 on their security [6]
Funded hackers and wide availability of hacking tools Intellectual property threats account for 25% of more than $600 billion cost of cybercrime to the world economy. The commercialization of cybercrime provides easy access to the resources that needed to launch severe attacks
Regulatory compliances Not just breaches but the regulatory laws, like GDPR, also enforce information security measures. The violation of these compliances may cost heavily to the businesses
Information security is indeed important, and for this purpose, effective skilled individuals to oversee the security systems, effectively, are crucial. The growing significance in the sector has also widened cybersecurity career options. IT and security are growing hand-in-hand due to fast advancing technological changes followed by the advancement in security. Career opportunities are vast, and with cybersecurity skills, anybody can begin a career in information security.

EC-Council is a leading credentialing organization in cybersecurity, worldwide. Our Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) program is preferred by employers as it empowers candidates with the required credentials that certify you in the specific network security discipline of ethical hacking from a vendor-neutral perspective. To learn more about C|EH, visit https://www.eccouncil.org/programs/certified-ethical-hacker-ceh/


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