Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability – Security Triad

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Understanding the Security Triad

When studying for just about any security related exam including Security+, CASP, SSCP, and CISSP, you’ll come across confidentiality, integrity, availability as three core concepts that are commonly referred to as the security triad and their importance cannot be overstated. You might also hear the trio referred to as the CIA security triad or the AIC security triad.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality ensures that data is only viewable by authorized users. In other words, the goal of confidentiality is to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of information. Loss of confidentiality indicates that unauthorized users have been able to access information.

If there is a risk of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands, it should be encrypted to make it unreadable. This includes encrypting data at rest and data in motion. Data at rest is any data stored as a file on a hard drive, mobile device, or even a USB flash drive. Data in motion is any data traveling over a network. AES is the most common symmetric encryption protocol used to encrypt data at rest. SSH, IPsec, SSL, and TLS are some common encryption protocols used to encrypt data in motion.

Additionally, data should be protected with access controls to enforce confidentiality.

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Integrity

The goal of integrity is to verify that data has not been modified and loss of integrity can occur through unauthorized or unintended changes. Integrity is commonly enforced by controlling data to prevent it from being modified, and by using hashes. Hashing algorithms such as MD5, HMAC, or SHA1 can calculate hashes to verify integrity.

A hash is simply a number created by applying the algorithm to a file or message. No matter how many times you calculate a hash, it will always be the same when calculated on the same data. However, if the data changes and you recalculate the hash, the hash will different.

Hashes are calculated at different times and then compared to each other to verify that integrity has been maintained. For example, if you calculate a hash on a file on Monday and it is 123456, and then you recalculate the hash on Wednesday and it is still 123456, you know that the data is the same. However, if you calculate the hash on Friday and it is 459459, you know that the data is no longer the same because the two hashes (123456 from Monday and 459459 from Friday) are different.

This article talks about security related cryptography topics including encryption and integrity and how they work together in a digital signature.

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You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

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You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

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Simulated Performance-based Questions

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Simulated performance-based questions included with all

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Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 10

A random set of 20 performance-based questions using drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in-the blank. This set includes performance-based questions on RAID.

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions Here

Simulated performance-based questions included with

all packages that include practice test questions.

Availability

The goal of Availability is to ensure that data and services are available when needed and often addresses single points of failure. You can increase availability by adding fault tolerance and redundancies such as RAID, clustering, backups, and generators. HVAC systems also increase availability.

This blog  talks about disk redundancies, but you can also have server redundancies (with failover clusters) and site redundancies (hot sites, warm sites, and cold sites).

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