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São Paulo/SP – February 24, 2023. Information security (IS) can be described as the set of practices adopted to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability (CID) of information during its life cycle.

*By Lucas Santos

What is information security?

Information security (IS) can be described as the set of practices adopted to guarantee the confidentiality, a integrity and the availability (CID) information during its lifecycle.

THE confidentiality it is the IS pillar that aims to restrict access to data and information to people who have a real need for such access.

the pillar of integrity aims to ensure the quality of information, that is, it is associated with the set of measures implemented to prevent undue alteration of information, whether accidentally or intentionally.

In addition to ensuring that information remains confidential and intact during their life cycle, it is important that they are available for access whenever necessary by authorized persons.

Purpose of information security

Considering the corporate aspect, the information represents value for the organizations, therefore, the main objective of the IS in this context is the organizational value protection.

The organizational aspect of information security must consider specific factors, since the same information can be accessed by different parties, such as employees, customers, suppliers, business partners, regulatory entities, among others.

Why implement information security?

The proper integration of the IS in the activities of an organization brings benefits that support the value protection.

Among them, the following stand out:

  • Risk management: a fundamental part of IS, risk management helps organizations to know and mitigate the risks inherent to the business;
  • loss prevention: the implementation of IS techniques and tools can result in the prevention of loss of operational, financial, data capacity, among others;
  • Business continuity: once the availability it is a pillar of SI, guaranteeing this factor enhances the continuity of business activities;
  • Threat and incident management: knowing and controlling threats and incidents is an essential part of IS, aiming to minimize their probability and impact in order to prevent threats from materializing into risks for organizations.

The implementation of information security must be customized according to the context, both internal (processes, structure, organizational culture, etc.) and external (market, customer expectations, regulatory bodies, etc.) of each organization.

Critical factors

The proper implementation of IS in organizations must consider the following factors to ensure its adaptation to the organizational scenario:

  •  Size: both billing and the number of employees must be taken into account during IS planning, since these factors are directly related to the provision of resources (tools and labor) that will support the operation of information security;
  • Segment: the IS must be planned and implemented in order to control threats, risks and specific regulations related to the area of operation of the organizations, in addition to the global risks of the IS;
  • Location: the risks associated with the locations and territories where organizations operate must be considered for the implementation of IS;
  • Legal requirements: laws, regulations and standards must be considered to ensure the correct execution of IS activities by organizations;
  • Organizational structure and culture: these organizational factors determine the best way to integrate IS into corporate activities;
  • Technological environment: the IT structure that supports the business must be considered, in order to map its limitations for the implementation of IS controls.

How to implement information security

The implementation of information security must occur gradually and in a planned manner, considering the factors described above to ensure its adequacy to the organization's reality. The following activities should be part of the IS implementation: 

  • Mapping of critical areas and activities: fundamental activity for mapping necessary resources and risks associated with them, enabling the adoption of appropriate strategies to guarantee IS;
  • adherence to frameworks: Currently, there are several frameworks of IS that describe controls to be implemented in organizations according to the best market practices, such as ISO 27001, NIST CyberSecurity Framework, CIS Framework, among others. It is up to organizations to assess which framework is the most suitable for your purposes;
  • Documentation: the processes and controls implemented to support the IS must be documented in order to guarantee their standardization and due disclosure to all interested parties;
  • Top Management Engagement: Top Management engagement is essential to guarantee autonomy and independence in IS-related decision-making;
  • Assignment of roles and responsibilities: the definition and communication of everyone's roles and responsibilities regarding information security supports its correct implementation and execution of the activities that permeate it.

It's not just implementing!

Information security maintenance and management activities are as important as the implementation itself. These help the organization to continuously improve the security of its data and information, ensuring that it will be constantly improved and updated according to the constant change in the global technological environment.

In addition to implementation-related activities, the following activities are important for ensuring information security in organizations:

  • Monitoring and evaluation: activities that support IS in organizations should be evaluated for their effectiveness and alignment with the organization's objectives;
  • Audits: independent auditors should be responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of the controls implemented by the organization, in order to guarantee an external view of these to enable the identification of eventual gaps and opportunities for improvement;
  • Awareness: It is important that all employees and stakeholders in the organization know the importance of the IS and their role in complying with it.

Final considerations

An effective information security program is indispensable for organizations of any size and in any segment, to guarantee the value protection. The program must be properly implemented and adjusted according to the organizational context, ensuring the adoption of executable and sufficient measures for the protection of data and company information.

*Lucas Santos is GRC, Privacy and Information Security Senior Consultant at SAFEWAY.

How can we help?

THE SAFEWAY is an Information Security consulting company recognized by its clients for offering high added value solutions through projects that fully meet the needs of the business. In 15 years of experience, we have accumulated several successful projects that have earned us credibility and prominence among our clients, which largely constitute the 100 largest companies in Brazil.

Today, through 25 strategic partnerships with global manufacturers and our SOC, SAFEWAY is considered a one stop shopping with the best technology, process and people solutions. We have both the technical skills and the necessary experience to assist your company in the process of implementing, maintaining and auditing Information Security, in accordance with the best practices currently available in the market. If you want more information, contact one of our specialists!