What is information: system, security, science, literacy, assurance. Information is a stimulus that carries some meaning in some context for its receiver. When information enters a computer and is stored in it, it is generally called data.
After the processing of such data such as formatting and printing data is converted into its refined form which is named output data and this output is gain perceived as information. When great sources of information are compiled or used in a better way for understanding some concepts, the information becomes knowledge.
The data-information-knowledge-wisdom-model is one of the great models that describe this hierarchy. In this model, data is structured in the form of pyramids and this data was created to show that information can be captured in different formats which are then further analyzed and converted into different forms. Each level of the structured pyramid is at a different perspective level of abstraction as compared to others.
In the same model firstly, discrete raw materials about a given situation without any analysis are given as input, and interpretation is applied. Secondly, description and meaning are applied to data to make it useful. In the third step, information-carrying some insight, context, and a frame of reference can also be applied for better interpretation.
At last, after following all the steps, knowledge is converted into wisdom through different actions and judgment of information.
We have been using the word data for the explanation of data, so for a better understanding of the concept information, we should be familiar with the concept data as well. Simply, data refers to raw materials. In the context of computing and Information Technology, data has named the information collected and recorded by the software.
Data is stored in the form of the database as well which includes records, and fields. This data is accessed and manipulated digitally and easily transferred among computers.
The next heading that should be covered while understanding information is an information system which can be defined as an integrated set of components for storing, collecting, and processing data for providing knowledge, information, and different digital products.
In today’s modern world, businesses and well-established firms rely on information systems for carrying out and managing their operations along with interacting with customers and suppliers. It is important for competing in the marketplace as well.
These information systems are of great need because they run inter-organizational electronic markets and supply chains. For example, information systems are in use in cooperation for processing financial accounts, managing their human resources, and setting paths for reaching potential customers through online advertisements and promotions.
Knowingly, many big companies are built completely around the information system. Some of these major companies include Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and Google. Government stations the information system for providing cost-effective services to the citizens.
Some digital goods including video products, electronic books, online services, and software such as gaming software, and social networking all are delivered using the information system.
Not only major companies or vast social networks are dependent on Information systems but individuals as well rely on information systems. They rely on information systems, mainly social media sites for conducting activities in their personal life such as studying, shopping, socializing, and entertainment. This information system is also in use for carrying out work activities such as banking.
New capabilities are growing into the information systems and people are becoming powerful. The major examples of development in technologies are the invention of the printing press in the 15th century by Johannes Gutenberg and the invention of the mechanical calculator in the 17th century by Blaise Pascal.
These inventions opened great ways for the revolution in the ability of processing, record, reach, and disseminate information and knowledge.
As can be hinted from the name Information security does not only means to secure data from unauthorized access but it is the practice of preventing unauthorized use, access, disclosure, modification, erasure, inspection, disruption, destruction, and recording of data.
Information can be physical as well as online and it can do anything such as your details, your profile on social media, your biometrics and data on your mobile, etc. Thus information security covers many various areas such as Mobile Computing, Cyber forensics, Cryptography, online social media, and many more.
We will get to know about the importance of information security after looking back at its history and its origin. The concept of information security is quite old as traces of its use were even found during the First World War.
During the First World War, the Multi-Tier Classification System was developed keeping in mind the sensitivity and security of data whereas, during the start of the Second World War, a classification system was enhanced. One of the successful decrypted Enigma machines that were used by German for encryption of warfare data was Alan Turning.
Information security programs build while keeping in mind three main objectives and these objectives are Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability referred to as CIA. These three words cover a vast range of concepts that covers the idea of information security.
Confidentiality: Confidentiality means that information is not disclosed to any unauthorized individual, entity, or process. For example, while entering the Gmail password someone has seen you so in this case your password has been compromised and the confidentiality of your Gmail account has been breached.
Integrity: Integrity covers the process of maintaining the accuracy and completeness of data which means that data is protected from editing in an unauthorized way. For Instance, if an employee leaves an organization then in this case data of that employee should be updated quickly with a status that reflects JOB LEFT so it is ensured that data is now completed and accurate.
Availability: Availability means that information will be available only when it is needed. For example, if you are a boss or posted at any higher position and you want to check whether a particular employee has an outstanding number of leaves or not then in this case it requires collaboration from various organizational teams including development operations and network operation.
A question might arise in your mind when you hear about information science. The word information science includes research and information about management in any form. We will explain some definitions of information science which will clear your confusion if you have any questions or
The discipline of information science deals with the process of storing and transferring information. It brings together methods and concepts of disciplines such as library science, engineering, and psychology for the development of techniques and devices to help in handling. Collecting, organizing, storing, and interpreting information and data.
Another way in which we can define information science is that it is a discipline which is concerned with the investigation of properties and behavior of information.
It is a force that governs the flow of information along with the means of processing information for optimum accessibility and usability. It is concerned with the knowledge covering the origin, collection, storage, organization, retrieval, transmission, interpretation, and utilization of information.
Information Science brings together all the theories, techniques, and principles of a variety of disciplines towards the solution of information problems. These techniques, theories, and principles are used for solving the problem using information.
Information literacy is defined as the set of integrated abilities enclosing the reflective discovery of information and understanding of how information is produced and valued and how the use of information is creating new knowledge and allowing everyone to participate in the use of information for creating new knowledge as well as in communities of learning.
If you tend to be information literate, you must be able to recognize when information is needed and you should be able to show your ability to evaluate, locate and use the needed information effectively. The goal of information literacy is to make you more sophisticated and a confident researcher to lay the foundation of independent lifelong learning.
You may find similarities in the words Information security and Information Assurance but there is a difference between these two concepts. Information assurance is the practice of managing risks related to information and computers and network systems provide great help in the protection of information systems.
There are five different pillars of Information Insurance that are Integrity, Availability, Authentication, Confidentiality, and Nonrepudiation. These five pillars can be applied in different ways depending on the sensitivity of the information system or organization’s information. Currently, these five pillars are in great use of the US Government’s ability for conducting safe and secure operations all around the globe.
Information Assurance is a field in itself. It can be considered a specialty of Information Technology because an IA specialist is of no use if he does not know anything about the IT department and how these works and how the IT department and Information Assurance are related to each other.
With the threats that are growing such as social engineering, worms, viruses, phishing, and viruses the focus on the IA is becoming the main target.
I hope that writing about information and all its aspects will be a great help for you.
Read also: What is Information
External resource: Wikipedia