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What Are the 3 Pillars of Cyber Security?

Cyber security is how you protect against computer program, network and system attacks. Sure, it’s usually IT experts who implement the strategies that will keep everyone’s data safe, but the rest of us need to understand its importance, too. Cyber security is not a one-and-done solution; it’s a framework that evolves and adapts to a situation and includes oversight, prevention, and maintenance.

The 3 Pillars of Cyber Security

Cyber security can be broken down into three main pillars: people, processes, and technology. If you understand these important components, you can use them as a road map to deliver quality IT service and cybersecurity protection. There are two ways you can think about these pillars. One is that they’re like a Venn diagram where each pillar is a circle that overlaps with another, and in the center all three are connected. The other is like three-legged stool, each pillar sharing an equal responsibility for holding up the entire structure. No one pillar is more important than the other and the whole thing can only operate to its full potential when all three work well together.

1. Who Are the People in Cyber Security?

People are the key components to consider when you administer and protect a company or individual’s assets. They help drive the cyber security process, from multiple angles. They include decision makers, like C-suite executives, directors, and management; they also include the people who implement cyber security, like staff and third-party consultants.

2. What Are Cyber Security Processes?

Processes and policy help provide the framework for governance and also define procedures that can be measured over time. Processes inform an IT department’s preventative and responsive controls. This means processes are put into place to support the integrity of a security system. For example, a separation of duties ensures no single person is responsible for signing off on changes made to a product or system. Similarly, physical barriers like secure spaces, can ensure access and safety to hardware. Detective controls like regular audits and reviews make sure you follow best practices and handle software and data securely.

3. What Is the Technology with Cyber Security?

Technology is the hardware and software that departments use to achieve reliable cyber security. They are the mechanisms IT people build processes around to prevent compromises to an IT infrastructure. They might include behavior analytics that monitor user or staff behavior or transactions. It might be breach detection which notifies you of hackers or malware. Or an authentication response system which confirm a user’s credentials. These technologies can be layered to create a fortified system that makes it difficult for a cyber threat to infiltrate private data.

 

These three pillars of cyber security—people, processes, and technology—should all work together to build a sturdy defense network. It’s these guiding principles that will help you as part of a cyber security team or larger IT department. A cyber security strategy should not only defend against cyber threat; it should also be adaptable to new and emerging threats, and identify weak spots as part of regular maintenance. If you want to learn more about the three pillars and start a new career in cyber security, check out Charter College’s IT programs. Charter College will prepare you for a rewarding entry-level career in the field of IT.