I’ve read a great post on David Lacey’s blog. Very clearly, he points out how most people and organizations are forgetting that information security is based is a three-pillar house (Availability, Confidentiality and Integrity, or CIA).
Availability was the main focus some years ago. Denial-of-service was the main worry, and business continuity was the focus of organizations. Then came the turn for confidentiality, and encryption became something that was -almost- everywhere. The impacts of a loss in availibility is big; the impact of a loss of confidentiality is bigger… and scarier.
But now comes the time for data integrity. Right now, few decision-making minds in organizations focus on that, or care about it. But still, the impact of a loss in data integrity is -and here we agree with Mr. Lacey- huge. What if somebody changed the data -intentionally or not? Results can go from from undermining the people’s (think about the recent alleged attack by a hacker to the Virginia Health Professions Database) or even fraud (think about the Satyam Computers‘ case.
And it gets darker. The problem comes not only by safeguarding integrity, but also to the long and painful process of recovering from one of this attacks: how to know exactly which data is trustworhty (i.e. hasn’t been tampered with) and what is not?
It is surprising that currently there is not a big concern about this. We are guessing that unfortunately this concern will come when it is too late, and there are many breaches in data integrity and costs and consequences are there to remind us of its important. That is why, in David Lacey’s words, it a time-bomb, waiting to explode.