Human factor and infosec

Sep 24, 20191041

In times of digital information systems and online data storage tools, concern for protecting and maintaining the confidentiality of this information is essential for individuals and businesses. Programs, applications and protection systems offer good support for this type of problem. But what not everyone considers when assessing the real risks of invasion and leakage of data is the importance that the human factor has in this situation.


Inappropriate use of tools, ignorance of security rules and the unnoticed use of malicious items are some of the most common mistakes when thinking about human influence on information protection systems. However, having a focused awareness of this, as well as getting clear and objective training on how to ensure yourself in the digital environment is essential for home or business environments.


When it comes to corporate environments, however, the concern needs to be even greater, since it covers information not only from the institution itself, but from the full range of customers, employees, suppliers and others. Likewise, a much larger number of people need access to private data, so that vulnerabilities become much more frequent and difficult to identify.


Each company uses different storage solutions, operating systems, firewalls, and machines. Therefore, it is not possible to create a general formula so that all this is always protected, since there are different metrics, conditions and solutions for each situation. Understanding each environment taking into account the human factor and only then making a safety plan is the most appropriate way to go about it.

Making a security plan without thinking about users can put the whole organization at risk. "A simple malicious e-mail that contains links (fishing) can install a malware on the user's computer, can check an investment in information security," explains Caraponale


Pillars of information security


To structure a good security plan, you must first consider the three basic needs of a system: confidentiality, integrity, and availability. That is, all data needs to be restricted only to those who need it, being confidential; be protected from external threats while remaining uncorrupted; and available whenever the company needs to access them.


To overcome the problem of the human factor, it is worth considering the protection of each of these stages. The issue of confidentiality can be addressed, for example, by analyzing each employee's role in establishing the data that each of them really needs to have access to. This restriction prevents unnecessary information handling from allowing external access loopholes and also that each company machine needs to be programmed to deal with threats from those file types. Financial data, for example, run only on specific programs; restricting access to the data and programs needed by the employees who will actually use them helps protect them and still saves installation efforts on each computer.


Integrity, however, refers exactly to the protection of each file. It is the guarantee that a data will not be changed without proper authorization. This means that a fraud can be prevented by this prohibition, since an employee or external person can change a current account data if working in a bank.


Availability, in turn, is the tribute of having information available whenever necessary. This is because it has an intrinsic ambiguity, linked to the fact that it has to be accessible to users while it can not fall into the particular errors of each machine. The solution to these problems is the use of high availability, backup or redundancy systems. Rasonware affects exactly this attribute and the data is not stolen or modified, only locked for use.

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