What is the Information Security Industry?
This new and vital industry puts Ireland at the forefront of global effort to protect confidential information and combat cyber crime. With some 50 Irish companies, and many of the biggest multinational IT names involved, the industry offers exciting opportunities for scientists, engineers, mathematicians, programmers, and other ICT technologists. The variety of disciplines involved is illustrated by the number of sectors that make up what is known as the industry ecosystem. In this lesson we look at some of the technologies used for information security purposes.
Keeping Information Secure
To keep information secure it must be protected from any interference and from access by unauthorised persons. This is true whether the information is kept in paper files or on computer systems. However, most security concerns today centre oncomputer systems including the networks that link computers together, of which the internet is a classic example. Data, by which we mean the information, in digital form, is transmitted across these networks and can be very vulnerable to attack. Thedata is usually encrypted (from the Greek word for 'secret') so that, even if hackers break into the system, they would not know what the data means. Authorised persons can transform the information back to its original state by decrypting it. They can only do this if they know the encryption key.
Who Are You?
We are all accustomed to using a PIN to access an ATM when we need money. Also, we know we must have our passports to pass through security checks at an airport. In these, cases, the PIN and the passport are being used for security purposes. In other words, they are accepted as proof of our identity.