What is information assurance and security?

January 3, 2019

Information assurance and security is the management and protection of knowledge, information, and data.

It combines two fields:

  • Information assurance, which focuses on ensuring the availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and non-repudiation of information and systems. These measures may include providing for restoration of information systems by incorporating protection, detection, and reaction capabilities.
  • Information security, which centers on the protection of information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction in order to provide confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

Information systems play an important role in the infrastructure that supports commerce, banking, telecommunications, health care, and national security, driving the need for qualified information assurance and security specialists.

Here’s an overview of this growing industry.

Information Assurance vs. Information Security

Although related, information assurance and information security are two different disciplines. Both disciplines involve a variety of similar issues, including risk management, cyber security, corporate governance, compliance, auditing, business continuity, disaster recovery, forensic science, security engineering, and criminology.

Education and Skills Requirements

Information assurance and security professionals need to have an understanding of the progression and use of data within organizations in order to assist with designing and implementing appropriate business systems. Traditional business systems can include databases, networks, and applications.

Security professionals will be called on to solve security and data-retrieval issues, as well as help with computer system design and networking. They may be expected to maintain disaster-recovery plans, which copy data into storage backup files that are located outside the IT network.

Because cybersecurity ties directly to the discipline of computer science and information technology, individuals will typically need a strong technology background or interest in information systems to pursue a cybersecurity profession. Experience with computer science; information technology; research and development; the completion of security certifications; and consulting activities can all help build a career in cybersecurity.

To obtain rewarding information assurance and security positions, professionals will likely need a graduate degree in information assurance and security as well as an industry leading certification. Two of the more popular industry certifications are ISACA’s CISM and (ISC)2’s CISSP.

Industry Outlook and Employment Opportunities

Information assurance and security are important to all industries. Arguably, knowledge, information, and data are the most critical and coveted components any organization possesses. Especially in this digital age, protecting and managing these assets is a vital role you’ll find in just about any government agency or organization. The need for information assurance and security professionals is growing at a

There’s currently a generational gap, as well as a gender gap, in the information security industry and related fields.

Related job titles include computer security specialist, database administrators, computer network architects, computer and information systems managers, and more.

Do you have what it takes to help fill the skills gap, or know somebody who does? Now is the time to take your education to the next level and prepare to enter this growing field.

Learn more about Capella's information security degree programs.

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