The CIA triad, or confidentiality, integrity, and availability, is a concept meant to govern rules for information security inside a company. To prevent confusion with the Central Intelligence Agency, the paradigm is often known as the AIC triad (availability, integrity, and confidentiality). Although the CIA triad parts are three of the most fundamental and critical cybersecurity demands, experts feel the CIA triad needs an upgrade to be successful.

In this context, secrecy refers to a set of rules that limit access to information, whereas integrity refers to the assurance that the information is trustworthy and correct, and availability refers to the assurance that authorized persons will have consistent access to the information.

Confidentiality, integrity, and availability

The three fundamental principles that comprise the CIA triad are as follows:

The term “confidentiality” is equal to Confidentiality safeguards are intended to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access. It is usual for data to be classified based on the quantity and type of harm that may be done if it came into the hands of the wrong people. Then, based on those classifications, more or less strict actions can be adopted.

Maintaining the consistency, correctness, and trustworthiness of data across its entire lifespan is what integrity entails. Data must not be modified in transit, and precautions must be made to prevent unauthorized parties from altering data (for example, in a breach of confidentiality).

The availability of information means that it should be consistently and easily available to authorized individuals. This entails correctly maintaining the hardware, technological infrastructure, and systems that store and show the data.

The Important CIA triad

The significance of the CIA triad security model is self-evident, with each letter reflecting a fundamental concept in cybersecurity. The three most critical ideas in information security are confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

Considering these three concepts in the context of the “triad” might assist guide the creation of organizational security policies. The trinity assists companies in asking focused questions about how value is given in those three major areas when analyzing requirements and use cases for prospective new goods and technology.

Thinking of the CIA triad’s three principles as an integrated system, rather than as separate concepts, might assist companies to grasp their linkages.

CIA triad examples

Here are some instances of the CIA triad’s management methods and technology. While these techniques and procedures are used in many CIA triad cybersecurity initiatives, this is by no means a complete list.


Data confidentiality might sometimes necessitate additional training for those who have access to sensitive material. Training can assist in familiarizing authorized personnel with risk factors and how to avoid them. Strong passwords and password-related best practices, as well as knowledge regarding social engineering approaches, may be included in the training to prevent users from bending data-handling standards with good intentions but possibly devastating effects.

When banking online, requiring an account number or routing number is an example of a strategy used to protect secrecy. Another prominent means of protecting secrecy is data encryption. User IDs and passwords are commonplace; two-factor authentication (2FA) is becoming the norm. Biometric verification and security tokens, key fobs, or soft tokens are further choices. Furthermore, users can take steps to reduce the number of places where information appears and the number of times it is transferred to complete a needed transaction. Extra precautions may be taken in the case of exceptionally sensitive papers, such as storing them solely on air-gapped computers, disconnected storage devices, or in hard-copy form for highly sensitive material.


File permissions and user access restrictions are examples of these safeguards. Version control can be used to prevent erroneous modifications or unintentional deletion by authorized users. Furthermore, companies must include some method of detecting data changes that may occur as a result of non-human-caused events such as an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) or server crash.

Checksums, even cryptographic checksums, may be included in data for verification of integrity. Backups or redundancies must be accessible to restore the impacted data to its original condition. Furthermore, digital signatures may be utilized to provide effective non-repudiation protection, which means that proof of logins, messages exchanged, electronic document reading, and transmission cannot be disputed.


This is best accomplished by rigorously maintaining all hardware, executing hardware repairs as soon as they are required, and keeping a fully working operating system (OS) environment free of software conflicts. It’s also critical to stay up to date on any system upgrades. Providing appropriate communication bandwidth and minimizing bottlenecks are also critical measures. When hardware failures occur, redundancy, failover, RAID, and even high-availability clusters can help to limit significant impacts.

Fast and adaptable disaster recovery is critical for worst-case scenarios; this capability is dependent on the presence of a thorough disaster recovery strategy. Unpredictable occurrences like natural catastrophes and fire must be included in safeguards against data loss or disruptions in connectivity. To avoid data loss due to such situations, a backup copy should be kept in a geographically separate area, such as a fireproof, waterproof safe. Firewalls and proxy servers, for example, can protect against downtime and inaccessible data caused by malicious denial-of-service (DoS) assaults and network invasions.

Some Challenges for the CIA triad

Big data offers problems to the CIA paradigm because of the vast volume of information that businesses must preserve, the diversity of data sources, and the multitude of formats in which it resides. Duplicate data sets and catastrophe recovery strategies might increase the already-expensive expenses. Furthermore, because the primary goal of big data is to gather and evaluate all of this information, competent data oversight is frequently inadequate. When whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the National Security Agency’s collecting of huge amounts of data on American residents, he brought the issue to the public’s attention.

Individuals’ information is protected from exposure in an IoT context by the Internet of Things privacy. Almost every physical or logical item or object may be assigned a unique identifier and be given the capacity to communicate autonomously over the internet or a comparable network. The data transmitted by a certain endpoint may not raise any privacy concerns on its own. However, even fragmented data from various endpoints might reveal sensitive information when gathered, processed, and evaluated.

Internet of things security is also difficult because IoT includes so many internet-enabled devices other than computers, many of which go unpatched and are often configured with default or weak passwords. Unless suitably safeguarded, IoT might be exploited as a standalone attack vector or as part of a larger attack vector.

As more goods with network connectivity are produced, it is critical to address security in product development regularly.

Best practices for putting the CIA triad into action

An organization should adhere to a broad set of best practices when adopting the CIA trinity. Some best practices, broken down by each of the three subjects, are as follows:


Data should be managed by the organization’s privacy requirements.

2FA should be used to encrypt data.

Maintain access control lists and other file permissions.


To reduce human error, ensure that personnel is well-versed in compliance and regulatory standards.

Invest in backup and recovery software.

Use version control, access control, security control, data logs, and checksums to assure integrity.


Use redundancy, failover, and RAID as preventative measures. Ensure that systems and applications are kept up to date.

Make use of network or server monitoring software.

In the event of data loss, ensure that data recovery and business continuity (BC) strategy is in place.

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