Information security means protecting information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction.
The terms information security, computer security and information assurance are frequently incorrectly used interchangeably. These fields are interrelated often and share the common goals of protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information; however, there are some subtle differences between them.
These differences lie primarily in the approach to the subject, the methodologies used, and the areas of concentration. Information security is concerned with the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data regardless of the form the data may take electronic, print, or other forms.
Computer security can focus on ensuring the availability and correct operation of a computer system without concern for the information stored or processed by the computer.
Governments, military, corporations, financial institutions, hospitals, and private businesses a mass a great deal of confidential information about their employees, customers, products, research, and financial status. Most of this information is now collected, processed and stored on electronic computers and transmitted across networks to other computers.
Should confidential information about a business’ customers or finances or new product line fall into the hands of a competitor, such a breach of security could lead to lost business, lawsuits or even bankruptcy of the business. Protecting confidential information is a business requirement, and in many cases also an ethical and legal requirement.
For the individual, information security has a significant effect on privacy, which is viewed very differently in different cultures.
The field of information security has grown and evolved significantly in recent years. There are many ways of gaining entry into the field as a career. It offers many areas for specialization including securing network(s) allied infrastructure and securing applications and databases, security testing, information systems auditing, business continuity planning and forensic science, to name a few, which are carried out by Information Security Consultants.