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What is Information Security and Assurance?

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What is Information Security and Assurance?

Posted-on February 2021

Information Security and Assurance jobs are challenging, rewarding, and constantly evolving. Information systems are at the centre of every organization’s infrastructure, so protecting the information and data that comprises that is critical. This foundational need means that there is an ever-growing demand for certified information assurance and security specialists in every organization (that has a digital aspect) across the globe.

Here we delve into the main differences between information assurance and information security jobs and what these jobs entail. We also share some insights from Adam Blaney, our Regional Director for Cloudstream and Cyberstream Europe on the ever-expanding demand for certified information security and assurance specialists in the UK and beyond.

Jobs in Information Security and Assurance

Any role related to information assurance and security is completely open to interpretation depending on what type of information a company wants the candidate to protect, the industry they will be working across, and the company’s individual business goals.

Generally, “information assurance and security is the management and protection of knowledge, information, and data”. As Capella University notes, however, there are two distinct disciplines here.

Firstly, information assurance is all about “ensuring the availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and non-repudiation of information and systems.”

In contrast, information security centres on “the protection of information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction.”

Where information assurance takes measures to provide “for restoration of information systems by incorporating protection, detection, and reaction capabilities”, the goals of an information security role are instead more focused on providing “confidentiality, integrity, and availability.”

What Does A Person Working Across Information Security and Assurance Do?

What an Information Security and Assurance specialist will do for a company will depends on what thecompany wants to achieve, or in this case, protect.

Broadly speaking, GOV.uk defines Information Security and Assurance roles as those that deliver “the processes and mechanisms needed to build a secure and reliable ICT infrastructure.”

As Capella University notes on the overlap between the two disciplines, each will involve a general balance of “risk management, cyber security, corporate governance, compliance, auditing, business continuity, disaster recovery, forensic science, security engineering, and criminology.”

Characteristically, the objectives and day-to-day tasks of professionals in this field tend to be synonymous with the job titles themselves: they protect, manage and secure information. This means they will be managing a huge range of information across a given company, overseeing GDPR and compliance-related material, identity and access management, and company databases.

Related to, but in contrast is cybersecurity, which is more about preventing unwanted access to networks.

What Sectors and Types of Organizations Do Information Security and Assurance Specialists Work Across?

As discussed, as information systems are at the core of most, if not every businesses infrastructure, you will find Information Security and Assurance Specialists in some form in every organization, whatever the sector, across the globe.

Adam Blaneyour Regional Director for Cloudstream and Cyberstream Europenotes:

“If you imagine, it's just a permission base of who can access what across the system. We've had that for years, but these things are now becoming part of cyber departments as they got built.

“Historically, companies didn't have a cyber department. Instead, they likely had one person who was the ‘data controller’, or someone in charge of the data who managed and took measures to protect it.

“As the departments grow, there are more and more job titles coming out and more functions being added into that function.”.

The range of jobs related to Information Security and Assurance is vast. Many of the Information Security and Assurance jobs that CyberStream consult for relate to coding and preventing unwanted network access.

Adam Blaney notes:

“The biggest areas we work across are identity and access management, as well as Systems Security. We also have a team that focuses in the commercial piece, placing specialists to sell cyber products to cyber vendors.”

As more organizations expand their digital strategy, new regulations surrounding consumer information and data (such as GDPR) arise, and universal awareness of cyber security and data privacy increases, the diversity and quantity of Information Assurance or Security-related roles will continue to expand. Looking for your next contract or permanent job in information security and assurance? Get in touch with our team today to discuss our diverse range of roles.

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