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digital information technologies, information technology, Cybersecurity


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), founded in 1901, is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and supports the U.S. mission to promote today’s innovations and industrial competitiveness. This mission is accomplished by advancing measurements and standards in science and technologies that enhance economic security and quality of life. NIST, defines cybersecurity as:

Prevention of damage to, protection of, and restoration of computers, electronic communicationssystems,electroniccommunicationsservices,wirecommunication, and electronic communication, including information contained therein, to ensure its availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and nonrepudiation.

At the core of cybersecurity is the motivation to protect information and the systems that manage it. In fact, the U.S. law, 44 USC 3552, defines information security as “protecting information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction in order to provide—integrity..., confidentiality..., and availability....

In cybersecurity practice, this is commonly known as the CIA triad where C stands for confidentiality, I for integrity, and A for availability. What’s notable here is that cybersecurity is all about information and the systems that support its management. Our information and systems are increasingly under attack from powerful adversaries who would like to steal our information for profit. Therefore, having an understanding of cybersecurity is important to protecting the future of people, resources, and societies. Our journey to this understanding starts with exploring the past so we know how we have arrived to the present. Then, it demands we turn our attention toward studying where we are going in the future.

Before we begin to understand how we got to today’s climate of cybersecurity, let’s first establish some context with the CIA triad. This will help us understand what motivates the actors of cybersecurity in the past, present, and future.

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