Importance of Formal Information Security Education

Having the right people learn the right things and having metrics in place to ensure knowledge transfer has occurred are both crucial reasons why formal information security education (here understood to mean attending classes in person, participating in online training courses either live or via recordings, or self-learning via printed material) is essential.

You are always tuned to this requirement. It's like going to a doctor who has only read books about medicine and never gone to medical school or having someone defend you in court who has only read books about the law but never gone to law school and graduated. In reality, there are numerous situations in which persons are legally obligated to obtain a specific formal education before carrying out particular duties.

Laws requiring security precautions to be taken with personal information may still need to be created, but education on the topic is crucial. Over time, a wide range of specialists has developed and updated curriculum standards for formal security education. For instance, people who attend official CISSP training courses covering the CISSP curriculum know that the information chosen to be taught is picked for a good reason since it has been created and refined by many specialists. In addition to the obvious career benefits, certifications in relevant fields are attainable via mastery of such material.

Information Security

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines information security as "the protection of information and information systems against unauthorized access, use, disclosure, interruption, alteration, or destruction to maintain confidentiality, integrity, and availability."

Data security involves protecting information both while it is kept ("at rest") and in transit ("in motion") within an organization.

Although the two phrases are sometimes used interchangeably, information security and cybersecurity are distinct but related concepts. While information security (infosec) focuses on safeguarding computer systems, computer security (cybersecurity) encompasses the defense of an organization's assets, computer systems being only one of many. Security in the digital realm encompasses data protection and application and network safety.

Importance of Information Security

The American Cybersecurity Literacy Act

The American Cybersecurity Literacy Act (ACLA) was proposed in June 2021 by U.S. politicians to raise cybersecurity awareness and education in the country. The Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act mandates that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) launch a public education campaign to raise awareness about the need to take precautions against cyber-attacks and other cybersecurity threats.

  • Password hygiene

  • Multi-factor authentication

  • Risks of public WiFi networks

  • Email phishing scams

  • Mobile security

  • Safety protocols and apps

  • Defined strategies to mitigate the impact of cyber attacks

The passage of the ACLA law is a positive development for the advancement of cyber literacy. While user education is essential, protecting an organization's data requires more than that. Also necessary is a well-developed and up-to-date information security strategy.

Data Protection Is Crucial

Practices in information security lessen the likelihood that IT systems may be compromised.

Information technology (IT) systems (especially those involved in data creation, storage, or transmission) are particularly vulnerable to security breaches and other cyber attacks. Still, these programs implement effective information security measures to protect against these dangers. In addition, it can protect against threats like denial-of-service assaults (DoS) that can cause service interruptions and outages.

If the company doesn't have such a program in place, sensitive or vital information might be stolen by hackers. Problems with customer service, damage to the company's image, monetary penalties from regulators, and disruptions to daily operations are all possible outcomes of such incidents.

Factors That Affect Its Value

With solid infosec, a company can lessen the likelihood of security breaches and data loss, guarantee its continued operations, and safeguard its customers, assets, and reputation. As a result, ensuring data security is a top responsibility. Meanwhile, the regulatory environment is changing quickly to accommodate new measures to safeguard personal information and guarantee consumers' privacy. Organizations must safeguard the information to comply with these rules, increasing the need for information security.

Common Threats

There are a variety of risks that might compromise an organization's data, and its security personnel should be aware of them.


Malware is a common and severe problem that risks any organization's data. Malware can infiltrate a target's IT systems if a user downloads and runs malicious software or executable files or if the user inserts a malicious USB drive or other portable media into their computer. Emails sent by hostile actors (phishing) or infected links are another common vector for malware distribution.

Credentials, client data, trade secrets, and intellectual property are just some of the sensitive information that may be stolen by threat actors using malware. Cybercriminals can lock their victims' systems using ransomware. Once locked, the hackers ask for payment to release it. While avoiding and lessening the impact of malware assaults, it's important to set up various measures.

Third-Party Exposure

According to recent research, most businesses (51% in one poll) have had data stolen by an outsider. At least 74% of victims blamed too generous data access permissions for the attack.

To cut back on expenses, quicken operations, and speed up go-to-market strategies, every business relies on a wide variety of outsiders, including vendors, suppliers, contractors, and consultants. However, the possibility of data theft, loss, or compromise is amplified when working with other parties.

To avoid security breaches caused by third-party vendors, you must conduct frequent risk assessments and implement a solid third-party risk management approach.

Targets (often workers) are manipulated by threat actors using social engineering tactics like phishing to bypass security measures or divulge private information.

Using Outdated Software

Many vulnerabilities and missing fixes, even the most up-to-date software, make it unsafe to use. A cybercriminal can quickly access an organization's systems and steal sensitive information because of these vulnerabilities. While lessening the likelihood of these vulnerabilities and minimizing security concerns, it is essential to constantly patch and upgrade all software and operating systems.

Unsafe Connections

Information assets may be safeguarded using security solutions, including firewalls, anti-virus software, endpoint detection and response systems, and security information and event management (SIEM) platforms. There would be more opportunities for hacking and other data leaks due to the absence of such mechanisms.

The use of unsecured personal networks, the circumvention of password protection, and the usage of unnecessary resources to an employee's job function are all potential outcomes of a too-lenient policy on information security.


Finally, information security hazards related to insecure networks are amplified when staff members demonstrate a lack of cybersecurity understanding and practice poor cybersecurity hygiene.

Updated on: 26-Dec-2022


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