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NEWS | Sept. 24, 2012

Information assurance = mission assurance

By 2nd Lt Johnathan L. Rhodes 633rd Communications Squadron

What is information assurance?

Many of us look at information assurance as a buzzword the Air Force likes to throw around that has something to do with computers and the internet.

To many it is just an annoying training which has to be completed every year.

However, the truth is information assurance is one of the single-greatest means of "protecting the net," and assuring the mission. IA is designed to guard the resources utilized to defend our nation. In short, it is protection; protection of our assets and ourselves from the bad guys.

A great way to remember the primary elements of IA is to think of the "CIA Triangle."

The CIA triangle is the relationship between three concepts, interdependent within the realm of information assurance:

1. Confidentiality - Keeping the bad guys out of our information
2. Integrity - Making sure our information is always accurate.
3. Availability - Making information accessible to the good guys when they need it.

In order for "CIA" to do its job, there are two driving forces which must be present:

1. Authentication - making sure the user is who they say they are.
2. Non-repudiation - making sure the user cannot deny what they did.

Each component is dependent on the others, and all must be present to achieve IA. Without one of these key elements, there is no IA, which in turn means no mission assurance.

In order to bring IA to the forefront of everyone's mind, the 633rd Communications Squadron will be launching a program to emphasize the importance of the program. During the coming months, expect to see enlightening information on topics such as the new SIPRNet tokens, SIPRNet uptime, and the migration to the Air Force Network. Look for articles, videos and emails containing valuable information regarding the IA program and how everyone has an important role to play in the security of our nation.