What is Information Assurance? How Is It Different from Information Security?

What is Information Assurance?

Information Assurance (IA) is the process of identifying and managing information-related risks as well as the procedures required to secure information systems like computers and networks. Information Assurance refers to the practice of ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, availability, and non-repudiation of essential information and associated information systems. It is a strategic process that focuses
on policy deployment rather than infrastructure development.

Data integrity ensures that data hasn't been changed, such as by virus assaults. Availability refers to ensuring that data is available and not obstructed by malware or ransomware. Authentication systems ensure that only authorized users have access to the data. Confidentiality safeguards data against security breaches and illegal access. Non-repudiation is an auditing system that monitors data changes such that they can't be refuted by retaining evidence of their occurrence.

To define what constitutes information assurance and security, it is critical to establish defined IT systems and rules. Cybersecurity is concerned with preventing unwanted infiltration and misuse of data, networks, and systems. The veracity of data and making it available to authorized users while maintaining confidentiality is the focus of information assurance. After data has been determined to be genuine, it must be safeguarded to prevent data corruption, whether deliberate or unintentional. The model and security work together to secure genuine data in this way.

The process of protecting against and controlling the risk associated with the usage, storage, and transmission of data and information systems is known as information assurance (IA).

The following functionalities for data and associated information systems are often ensured by information assurance processes −


Integrity refers to the confidence that all information systems are safe and secure. IA strives to ensure integrity by installing anti-virus software on all computer systems and ensuring that all employees with access understand how to use their systems properly to prevent malware and viruses from accessing information systems.

IT Governance offers a number of e-learning courses to raise employee understanding of subjects like phishing and ransomware, which helps to lessen the risk of systems being hacked and data being exposed.


The term 'availability' refers to the capacity of individuals who require information to obtain it. Only individuals who are aware of the hazards connected with information systems should have access to it.


Authentication entails verifying that persons with access to data are who they claim to be. Two-factor authentication, strong passwords, biometrics, and other devices are examples of ways to improve authentication. Not only may authentication be used to identify individuals, but it can also be used to identify other devices.


Information security is concerned with information secrecy, which means that only those with permission may read sensitive data. This phase is closely matched by the General Data Protection Regulation's (GDPR) six data processing principles, which state that personal data must be handled securely 'using suitable technological and organizational means' ('integrity and confidentiality').


The last pillar states that anybody with access to your organization's information system cannot deny doing a task within it since there should be procedures in place to confirm that they did so.

Information Assurance Vs. Information Security

Information security and information assurance have slightly different objectives. In essence, the extent of what they are attempting to safeguard differs between the two. The prevention and defense against assaults and illegal use of computer systems including networks, programs, and data, is known as Information Security. The safeguarding of digital and non-digital information assets is known as Information Assurance.

Information assurance is a larger subject that encompasses both information security and information management's commercial components. Implementing organization-wide standards to reduce the risk of a corporation being hurt by cyberattacks is characteristic of information assurance work.

An information assurance team could do things like redesign login authentication mechanisms or conduct routine backups of vital firm data to accomplish this. As a result, information assurance specialists are more focused on tackling the total risk to an organization's data rather than dealing with specific threats from the outside.

Information Security is a more hands-on discipline. It places a high priority on creating tools, technologies, and other countermeasures to secure information, particularly from external attacks. Because of the minor differences between the two sectors, students who receive a degree that includes both can have a well-rounded skill set that can help them qualify for senior positions in the information security and assurance industries.

Updated on: 19-Jul-2022


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