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Training for Information Assurance (IA Training)

Why Would You Benefit From Information Assurance Training?

IT professionals within the information protection field who need to meet government mandated requirements for information assurance (IA) training certification are on a tight deadline, which will be explained in this article. IT professionals looking to expand their information security knowledge to qualify for more lucrative government jobs handling IA would benefit from specialized training as well, for a few reasons.

Over the next decade, certified information systems managers will experience more job opportunities, greater job security and higher earnings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Plus, certified information systems managers can command salaries about 10 to 15% higher than noncertified individuals in comparable roles. Contributing factors to the increased need will be from technology growth, competition and greed.

As technologies grow more competitive with one another, the need for certified IT professionals will increase. These professionals will need to be able to adopt the most efficient software and systems for their clients’ safety, as well as be able to troubleshoot when a problem occurs. Their goal will be to protect critical information in a range of areas from credit card numbers to social security numbers, and secured government information to corporate financial records. Most importantly certification ensures that these IT professionals are qualified to not only handle sensitive systems, but that they are able to responsibly handle sensitive information as well.

Not all IA jobs are in the Department of Defense (DoD) sector, but a great deal of them are – all of which require information assurance certification and training by 2011.

Information Security vs. Information Assurance – What’s the Difference?

Information security is often misconstrued for being information assurance and vice versa. Both areas of data protection are related, but there are fundamental differences. Information assurance not only protects data, software and hardware, it also serves a purpose for protecting those items from hacking and malicious code attacks. Plus, IA covers a broad area of governmental duties which can range from fraud examination to forensic science, criminology to disaster recovery, and much more.

The DoD defines IA as the practice of managing information related-risks. IT professionals who specialize in IA seek to protect and defend information and information systems by ensuring confidentiality, integrity, authentication, availability and non-repudiation. Specially trained IA professionals are in charge of ensuring that only authorized users will have access to authorized information at an authorized time. If a breach occurs, critical information could fall into the wrong hands.

IA Training Means Learning the 5 Core Principles

Back in the old days, before IA existed the practice was simply known as information security, which had three controlling interests: confidentiality, integrity and availability. The goal was as simple; all that was needed was a couple of guards put in charge of a computer’s safety and well being. As technology evolved, information assurance came into the forefront of importance. Its goal was to guarantee that the data being protected was authentic and valid. By combining the key points from information security and IA together, you now have the five fundamental pieces that make up information assurance today:

  • Availability is the cohesion of processes involving the computer systems that hold the data and the security processes that protect it working in tandem, making the information immediately available to the end user.
  • Authentication guarantees that downloadable files, logins and passwords are not fake.
  • Confidentiality allows only authorized users to access, use or copy information. Authentication works closely with confidentiality, if the user is not authenticated they will not be granted access to confidential information. If the protected information is accessed by a non-authorized user, a breach of confidentiality has occurred.
  • Integrity protects data and does not allow it to be corrupted, altered, deleted or recreated without proper authorization. Again, authentication is central to keeping another facet of information assurance functioning properly.
  • Non-Repudiation is a service that validates the integrity of a digital signature’s transmission; starting from where it originated and ending where it arrives. Non-repudiation guarantees that the digital signature is that of the intended party, thereby granting authorization to the protected information.

As you can see, you cannot have a proper IA protocol in place without all five of these facets working together hand-in-hand. Information security professionals receiving specialized training in IA will increase their value as an employee.

Qualify to Work in Information Assurance for the DoD

Since 2004, the DoD mandated that all full- and part-time military service members, contractors and foreign employees with privileged access to information systems must acquire a commercial information security credential accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The mandate also expresses that all information assurance personnel must become compliant with this directive by the end of 2011.

Villanova University is widely recognized as a leader in online professional education. Ranked as the #1 Master’s University in the Northern Region by U.S. News & World Report for 20 years, Villanova offers intensive, non-degree programs for working professionals who wish to improve their skills and progress in their career. You can learn anytime, anywhere at your own pace and view professor-led lectures through video-based, e-learning technology.

For IT professionals in need of information assurance training and preparation for certification, the following courses are offered 100% online:

Advanced Information Assurance and Security – Government

This advanced course examines the very latest aspects of security management and procedures. To help IS professionals combat cryptographic attacks and other computer crimes that threaten their organization’s security, the course includes 650 sample test-prep questions for the CISSP® and SSCP® certification exams, and hundreds of questions for the CAP® certification exam. Plus, the course supports CNSS National Standard 4011, which deals with intelligence activities, military command and control, and other vital issues impacting national security. You cannot go without these in-demand areas of knowledge in today’s information security field.

Master Certificate in Information Security Management – Government

This certificate helps satisfy DoD Directive 8570.1, which dictates that anyone with privileged access to an information system must obtain a commercial information security credential. Villanova’s new Master Certificate in Information Security Management – Government will prepare you to meet the rigorous qualifications of leading federal government agencies, including the DoD, the National Security Agency (NSA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and others. Learn how to protect information and information systems, address specific security issues, and implement all skill areas contained in the latest CompTIA Security+™ (2008 Edition), CISSP® and SSCP® bodies of knowledge – all of which satisfy DoD Directive 8570.1.

For more information about Villanova University’s intensive non-degree programs, contact us now!