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Goals of Information Security in Organizations

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Information Systems
Wordcount: 2045 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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Internet Security Systems


In this paper, I discuss the answers to the following questions: What is the goal of information security within an organization? What is the difference between a threat, vulnerability, and a risk? What is more important for cybersecurity professionals to focus on: threats or vulnerabilities? What are your first three steps when securing a server? Do you prefer filtered ports or closed ports on your firewall? These questions allow us to think about the main factors internet security systems entail and raise awareness on prospective approaches to security systems.

Information plays the primary role in various organizations as it entails the most data needed to keep systems secure. In order to maintain an effective security system, there are primarily three main goals of information security within an organization. These goals consist of confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Each goal addresses a different aspect of providing means of protection.

Confidentiality involves maintaining privacy and secrecy during the transmission process of information, and most importantly from unauthorized users. In other words, only authorized users are given access to secret data within a security system. Failure to maintain confidentiality allows for unauthorized access and cannot be alleviated. Today, this is frequently seen in credit or debit card fraud where an individual’s bank account information cannot be erased from the scammer or internet once hacked. Therefore, a loss of confidentiality has occurred, showing how important it is to protect the means of confidentiality of data.

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Integrity refers to the validity of information. It only allows for changes to be made by authorized users and only through secure networks. Failure to preserve the integrity of data can lead to unauthorized access and intended changes presented by unauthorized users. Availability allows for information to be created and store for authorized users, otherwise information is unusable and worthless. Information must ensure availability for authorized users to access important information when needed. It is important to address these goals of information security within an organization to help prevent rival corporations from taking advantage of system operations and endorsing threats.

In the article entitled, An Integrated System for Information Security Management with the Unified Framework,Yang, Ku, and Liu (2014) address the role of information security management when examining the security requirements needed to ensure a safe organization. The authors argue that security requirements are often neglected when considering support systems and propose what they call an integrated system for information security management (ISISM) to help solve the issue of neglect within systems. They believe that “the primary objective of the proposed ISISM is to develop a unified framework to handle processes of information security management” (Yang, Ku & Liu 2014:22). In other words, provide an effective tool for authorized users to increase their performance in implementing systematic security measures and risk assessments. Further, help promote the three goals of information security within an organization.

In internet security, threats, vulnerabilities, and risks are vital when providing means of protection within an organization. A threat is a danger that has the potential to cause any means of harm to a system. Author’s Speed and Ellis (2003) highlight in their novel entitled, Internet Security: A Jumpstart for Systems Administrators and IT Managers that threats within a security system “could impact the security of business assets, which could lead to a potential dollar loss, capital damage, or loss of customer confidence” (Speed & Ellis 2003:235). Particularly, take advantage of a vulnerability to inflict objects of interest. Software attacks are a primary example of a malicious threat in information systems. The primary goal of a threat is to obtain, damage, or destroy an asset.

A vulnerability is a weakness in an information system that allows for information security to easily be exposed to a threat. This weakness can be exploited by unauthorized users to perform dangerous actions within a system. A vulnerability weakness can occur in a firewall, making it easy for unauthorized users to gain access to an information network. This weakness can be as dangerous as the lack of security cameras within a home. This easily minimizes the protection of residents and increases the chance of criminals entering a home.

Risks within an organization is anything that can cause for potential loss. Speed and Ellis (2003) emphasize that the following process of a risk analysis should be determined when identifying the cause for potential loss—”the analysis of the threats, the impacts of those threats, and the corresponding risks…the formula to determine risk is: Risk = Impact + Threats + Likelihood” (Speed & Ellis 2003: 232). This can help to review potential impacts that are likely to contain vulnerabilities and help develop strategies to prevent future loss.

Furthermore, whether threats exploit vulnerabilities intentional or accidental, we’re always trying to protect against them. As discussed, vulnerabilities contain weaknesses or gaps in a security information system that can be exploited by threats to gain unauthorized access to an asset. With this being said, both are equally important in securing data and avoiding access to important information. It is important for cybersecurity professionals to ensure the safety of an information system through preventing vulnerabilities from allowing unauthorized users to gain access to the system.

Based on van der Walt, Eloff, and Grobler’s (2018) article entitled: Cyber-security: Identity deception detection on social media platforms, cyber-security media exposes people to many malicious risks on social media platforms. The authors address the issue of widespread cyber-security threats that are intended to instill harm and fear in the lives of humans being impacted by cyber bullying. They discuss how, “More importantly, these cyber threats are aggravated by the sheer number of vulnerabilities present in SMPs, the number of available and different types of SMPs (Chaffey, 2016), the poor design and construction of SMPs (Haimson and Hoffmann, 2016), the large volumes of unstructured content (Assunção et al., 2015), and the opportunities that SMPs provide to humans acting in malicious ways (Fire et al., 2014)” (van der Walt, Eloff, & Grobler 2018: 76).

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These factors contribute to social media platforms being vulnerable the cyber threats being caused by malicious users.  As a result of these cyber threats and social media platform vulnerabilities, a dramatic increase in further cyber bullying issues are impacted among users. These vulnerabilities include but are not limited to identity theft and impersonation, pornography broadcast, and fraud spreading across social media websites such as Facebook. In this case, it is important to focus on both cyber-security threats and vulnerabilities equally in order to propose models or strategies to help protect future identify deception on social media. This can potentially minimize future cyber-security threats implemented by unauthorized users to attack victims of cyber-bullying.

Furthermore, the first three steps in securing a server include:

  1. Server installation and software update

This ensures that the system is providing the most updated and safest information needed for authorized users to attain accuracy within the server. It also limits the amount of vulnerabilities from entering the information system.

  1. Assigning security privileges

It’s the system administrator’s responsibility to assign and manage security privileges as needed to authorized users of the information system. This is needed to fight against threats and avoid the spread of internal vulnerabilities. 

  1. The setup of user and server accounts

This setup is important for advanced users in ensuring liability within the server and providing access to other users who are given authorized privileges.

Authors Li and Xue (2013) further address this component in their article: A Survey on Server-side Approaches to Securing Web Applications through a survey intensely focused on server techniques used for securing web applications. They do so through covering techniques requiring cooperation between the client and server to rather shift a focus onto the issue of “building secure web applications and protecting vulnerable ones” (Li & Xue 2013:3). The structure of the survey overall involves “three commonly seen security vulnerabilities within web applications: input validation vulnerabilities, session management vulnerabilities and application logic vulnerabilities, along with attacks that exploit these vulnerabilities” (Li & Xue 2013:1). This is used to show us the attacks that security vulnerabilities address and carry out during the web application process. Most importantly, this is essential to understanding the attacks and vulnerabilities in internet platforms today.

A firewall system is designed to control access on a network, particularly protecting internal data from the public sector. It is designed to block and authorize access. Filtered ports allow access to what the firewall accepts, meanwhile dropping all other packets and receiving no response. On the other hand, closed ports reject connections and ignores all packets. In this case, a filtered port seems to be more beneficial due to it being more likely to prevent malicious encounters from occurring in the system since obstacles are consistently being blocked.

In the article, Localizing Firewall Security Policies, the authors Adao, Focardi, Guttman, and Luccio (2016) discuss the control of firewall packet flow in different network systems. They use an example of a corporation to demonstrate how one might work. “Consider a corporation: some subnets contain public-facing machines such as web servers or email servers; others support an engineering department or a sales department; and yet others contain the process-control systems that keep a factory operating” (Adao, Focardi, Guttman, & Luccio 2016:194). Overall, the authors study the filtering of different networks to help us understand how firewalls generate within security systems.


  • Li, X., & Xue, Y. (2014). A survey on server-side approaches to securing web applications. ACM Computing Surveys, (4), 1. https://doi.org/10.1145/2541315
  • Localizing Firewall Security Policies. (2016). 2016 IEEE 29th Computer Security Foundations Symposium (CSF), Computer Security Foundations Symposium (CSF), 2016 IEEE 29th, 194. https://doi.org/10.1109/CSF.2016.21
  • Speed, T., & Ellis, J. (2003). Internet security: a jumpstart for systems administrators and IT managers. Elsevier.
  • van der Walt, E., Eloff, J.H.P., & Grobler, J. (2018). Cyber-security: Identity deception detection on social media platforms. Computers & Security, 78, 76-89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cose.2018.05.015
  • Yang, T.-H., Ku, C.-Y., & Liu, M.-N. (2016). An integrated system for information security management with the unified framework. Journal of Risk Research, 19(1), 21-41. https://doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2014.940593


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