Introduction

Mostly all business these days are driven by technology because it is quick, and it increases the reach of the business. But due to increasing technological dependency, the cases of a security breach or Cyber-attacks have increased too! And no business would want their informational asset to be leaked or breached.

Hence, organizations these days are investing in proper frameworks that help in information security. Obviously, it is good to invest in security than losing money due to a breach. And this is where Information security management comes into the picture. Let’s discuss what is information security management?

In this Article:

  1. What is Information Security Management?
  2. Objectives of Information Security Management
  3. Benefits of adopting ISMS
  4. Examples of Information Security Management System
  5. Case Study on ISMS
  6. Importance of Information Security Management

1) What is Information Security Management?

Information Security Management (ISM) narrates a set of controls and policies that organizations implement to secure their informational assets from attacks, threats or vulnerabilities. Many firms develop a documented procedure for managing information security or InfoSec. And this is termed as Information Security Management System (ISMS).

2) Objectives of Information Security Management

There are three security objectives or goals to provide management support and direction for information security according to the business requirement and relevant rules. The three security controls to protect information at the organization level are known as the CIA triad and are explained below:

1. Confidentiality: Confidentiality or privacy of information means that certain protected information is open to only authorized personnel. The security measures as per information security management system allow only these people to fetch or modify the data. The security team classify data according to perceived risk and calculate the impact of the data if it gets compromised. For high-risk data, additional privacy controls are put.

2. Integrity: The information security management system manages data integrity by putting controls to ensure the accuracy and consistency of stored data through its lifecycle. To secure the data, measures are taken that stored data cannot be deleted or modified without taking apt permissions. To ensure better integrity, measures such as user access controls, version controls and checksums can be implemented.

3. Availability: Proper steps are taken by the ISM team to ensure the timely availability of data to authorized personnel only. Typical InfoSec activities followed if Cyber-attack occurs are proper hardware maintenance, patch installation and up-gradation and implementing disaster recovery procedure and incident response.

3) Benefits of adopting ISMS

ISMS define a set of procedures or processes to manage data risk like hacks, Cyber-attack, data theft or leak. ISO 27001 is the international information security management standards which provide the requirements and specifications to implement ISMS. Following are the benefits of the information security management system:

  • It secures an organization’s all kinds of information like intellectual property, personal information and company secrets. This information can be a hard copy or can be in digital form. The place of data storage also does not matter, what matters is security.
  • It increases a firm’s resistance to Cyber theft or attack.
  • It helps the organization to respond better to advancing security threats.
  • This helps the employees to take data security seriously and follow it as a daily ethic.
  • The information security management system framework helps in protecting confidentiality, integrity and availability of information.
  • It avoids the firm from technology-driven risks and threats like ineffective procedures or poorly informed workforce.

4) Examples of Information Security Management System

The international information security leader is ISO 27001. But other frameworks set a good information security management system example. These borrow from ISO 27001 and may contain some organization-centric guidelines too. These standards are:

  • COBIT: It is an IT-specific framework and focuses on how asset configuration and management are related to information security.
  • ITIL: It is a popular IT service management framework which contains Information security management.  It helps in aligning IT and information security in all day-to-day business works.
  • O-ISM3: It stands for Open Group information security management maturity model and ensures security procedures are implemented in an organization in alignment with business requirements.

5) Case Study on ISMS

Our dependency on the internet, information and electronic devices has increased considerably in recent times. This has helped the organization to process the information faster, more efficiently and effectively. But it has brought some serious challenges and threats to protect information. It has become important for firms to protect their critical information from getting into the wrong hands.

According to a global information security survey by the giant E&Y in 2010, in 46% of cases firms have reported an increase in investment in information security. The report also indicates that 60% interviewees feel that the use of cloud computing, smartphones, social media and other personal gadgets have posed a higher risk to information security. However, a firm must keep a proper mix of managerial, behavioural and technical aspects of information security to overcome the data risk challenges.

There have been multiple case studies done in the past to study about information security management system and its need. The case study on information security management with examples brought into light that information security is a separate discipline which contains numerous dimensions like technical security, operational security, application security, mobile security and behavioural security. Various ISM Case studies performed by different authors in the past with their key findings are mentioned below:

  • Doughty (2003): It is important to set up a security framework in an organization.
  •  Khalfan (2004): Information security risk may cause loss of control in a project.
  •  Zakaria (2004): It is important to identify employee information security behaviour.
  •  Mouratidis, Jahankhani and Nkhoma (2008): The security concerns of network security personnel are different from the security perspective of general management.
  • Harnesk and Lindstrom (2011): Agility and discipline, play an important role in creating security behaviour.
  •  Singh, Picot, Kranz, Gupta and Ojha (2013): The key determinants of ISM are industry type, size of firm and culture and regulatory compliance.
  •  Parsons, McCormac, Pattinson, Butavicius and Jerram (2014): The key concerns of information security awareness are social media, wireless security and security incidents reporting.
  •  Dhillon, Syed and Pedron (2016): Effective and efficient communication framework and definition of clear boundaries should be the prime motives of ISM.

6) Importance of Information Security Management

Following are the importance of information security management set up in an organization:

  • It reduces the unnecessary and untimely risk that may cost you both time and money.
  • It protects the organization against information breach, but if a breach happens it provides you with plans to reduce the damage effectively.
  • It prevents misuse of information whether by design or by accident.
  • If you are ISMS compliant it generates trust in the market, both by aspiring employees and businesses. It proves that data security is utmost important to you.

Conclusion

So now it is clear that to survive in this technology-driven world, both small and big organizations need to implement ISMS. Maintaining data security is a must and plans to mitigate threats should be ready at hand. Seeing the importance of data security, people are going for information security management certification. This increases career opportunities for professionals and lets them prove expertise in incident and risk management. So, if this field appeals you, go ahead and become a certified information security manager. 

In case, you are interested in Cyber Security then browse through our Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Blue Team), a 520 hours long program with preparation for 7 global certifications.

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