In a recent post, Warren Axelrod argues that Availability is the most important of these factors for security, more important than Integrity and Confidentiality – that C-I-A should be A-I-C.
I don’t agree.
Protecting the Confidentiality of customer data and sensitive business data and system resources is a critical priority for information security. It’s what you should first think about in security.
And protecting the Integrity of data and systems, through firewalls and network engineering and operational hardening, and access control, data validation and encoding, auditing, digital signatures and so on is the other critical priority for information security.
Availability is a devops problem, not a security problem
Axelrod makes the point that it doesn’t matter if the Confidentiality or Integrity of data is protected if the system isn’t available, which is true. But Availability is already the responsibility of application architects and operations engineers. Their job is designing and building scalable applications that can handle load surges and failures, and architecting and operating technical infrastructure that is equally resilient to load and failures. Availability of systems is one of the key ways that their success is measured and one of the main things that they get paid to take care of.
Availability of systems and data is a devops problem that requires application developers and architects and operations engineers to work together. I don’t see where security experts add value in ensuring Availability – with the possible exception of helping architects and engineers understand how to protect themselves from DDOS attacks.
In information security, C-I-A should be C and I, with a little bit of A – not the other way around.
Reference: It’s About Confidentiality and Integrity (not so much Availability) from our JCG partner Jim Bird at the Building Real Software blog.