IT Security: What is the CIA triad and why is it important for your organization



IT Security: What is the CIA triad and why is it important for your organization


Today’s modern era revolves around data and information. Every type and size of business venture has critical information about its clients and customers that needs protection from both internal and external cybersecurity threats. However, for both businesses and technology end-users, information security remains a significant challenge. Advanced threat actors and attack vectors of cybercriminals require organizations to utilize compact security models to ensure business continuity and data security. CIA triad plays a key role in protecting organizational data from a wide range of security threats

What is CIA Triad?

CIA Triad is nothing but a cybersecurity model that focuses on information security or data security. In other words, it is an information security model that encapsulates three critical components of information security. These components are confidentiality, integrity, and availability. This model serves to outline the goals and objectives of data and information security programs and helps businesses to defend against digital threats such as data breaches/leaks, malware attacks, phishing, account/credentials compromise, web-based attacks, etc.

Understanding the Three Principles of the CIA Triad

Together the three principles of the CIA triad (confidentiality, integrity, and availability) forms a linked triad, while the triad cannot be complete if even a single component is compromised. Organizations looking to achieve maximum information security can leverage this security triad to ensure that the organizational operations, processes, and activities are secured in such a way that all three components of the triad are achieved. Following is more explanation on each component of the triad.  


This principle addresses organizations to protect sensitive/private and personally identifiable information of their customers and employees from unauthorized access. This can include, customers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, financial records, business plans, personally identifiable information (PII) such as Social Security Number (SSN) or date of birth, password-protected records, email records, health records, and so on. The component of confidentiality can never be achieved unless the critical information of the company and its stakeholders is not protected from both unauthorized internal employees and external threat actors.


This principle requires organizations to ensure that all the critical data and information of the company and its stakeholders is not only protected but also is not tempered in any way. This means no unauthorized changes should be made to any information or data while it is being transferred, used, stored (both in physical devices or in the cloud), or shared with other entities. This component is not able to be achieved by organizations unless they ensure data accuracy, authenticity, and reliability.


As apparent from the name, this component indicates data availability. This principle ensures systems, applications and data are available and accessible to authorized users when they need them. Networks, systems, and applications must be constantly up and running to ensure critical business processes are uninterrupted.

Why is the CIA triad important for your organization?

As high as 60% of businesses go out of business after being hit by some form of a cyberattack. Recovering from a security breach can be a daunting task for your organization. In addition to huge recovery costs, your organization may also risk losing business opportunities, public reputation, and revenue. CIA triad emphasizes data and information security that can help you avoid data breaches and further complications. Here are some of the ways using the CIA triad can help you improve your organizational security posture.   

Improving cybersecurity infrastructure

On the surface, it may appear that the CIA triad only focuses on information security. However, the three key components of the triad encapsulate a wide range of security aspects that businesses need to take into account to achieve each component of the triad. To satisfy the requirements of each component, you will need to deploy necessary security measures in place in all of your business processes and operations. This will ultimately lead to improving the overall security infrastructure of your organization.

Business continuity

Business interruptions stemming from some sort of cyber espionage can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue loss. Malware infections such as ransomware and cyberattacks such as DDoS can not only compromise your organizational data but can also render your business systems and networks inoperable. Ensuring all three components of the CIA triad can avoid business disruptions and maximize data security, business continuity, and productivity.

Preparation against future security threats

To achieve each component of the CIA triad, you will need to test, improve, update, and upgrade your deployed security parameters. This can include conducting vulnerability and risk assessments, updating or renewing security policies and procedures, introducing new access controls, and so on. Identification of security vulnerabilities in your current organizational infrastructure will allow you to enforce necessary security measures while strengthening your defenses against current and future cyber threats.

Best practices for implementing the CIA triad

Just like any other security model, the CIA triad also requires you to ensure the essentials of cybersecurity and the implementation of best security practices within your organization. The CIA triad framework works best when coupled with other cybersecurity models. Some best practices to use CIA triad, divided by each of the three subjects, include:


  • Access to sensitive data must be handled based on the organization's required privacy.
  • Data should be encrypted using 2FA.
  • Access and control and other file permissions must be up to date.


  • Creating a workplace security culture across the organization can help in minimizing human mistakes and improve data integrity.
  • Data should be efficiently backed up regularly
  • Necessary intrusion detection security measures should be implemented to detect any change to data.


  • Business continuity and disaster recovery plans should be in place to ensure data availability and business continuity.
  • Real-time threat detection systems can help in preventing intrusions, data loss, and business interruptions
  • All devices storing critical data/information must be heavily protected and must be kept up to date.

The CIA triad is one of the most efficient security models that you can leverage to increase your data security and overall business cybersecurity. Implementing multiple security models can enable you to improve your business security from various aspects. However, if your goal is to increase data security, ensuring all three components of the CIA triad can help you maximize your organizational information security and business growth.  


Are your organizational data security measures up to the mark? Let our industry experts identify security gaps in your organizational security posture and recommend customized solutions that will not only increase your organizational security but will also improve business efficiency and productivity. Book your free consultation with our team.