What is the Difference Between Security Architecture and Security Design?


Security architecture and security design are both aspects of the functionality of IT and how the professionals strive to ensure security in the systems. These two are, however, different areas of security and are not interchangeable.

Understanding the difference between security architect and security design would require thorough comprehension of each of the areas.

A cyber security architecture, on one hand,  is the set of components and resources that enable security to function. In cyber security architecture, we are talking about setting up of security system and the functionality of the different components that makes up the architecture of the security. Addressing cyber security architecture could be described as looking at a resource like a network monitor or security software program in the context of the broader system.

Security design, on the other, refers to the techniques and methods for placing hardware and software components to promote security. Network security design aspects include handshakes and authentication.

The two terms are different in the operations and functions and as mentioned above cannot be used interchangeably. Let us explain each of the domains separately to give a clear-cut understanding of their differences. 

What is Cyber Security Architecture?

 While cyber security architecture has several definitions, it is ultimately a set of security concepts, procedures, and models that are supposed to match your objectives and keep your company safe from cyber threats. The process of turning business needs into practical security requirements is known as architecture. It also includes identifying and assessing potential threats and vulnerabilities, as well as recommending or implementing appropriate risk mitigation security procedures.

The cyber security architecture is made up of the following basic components:

Security policy: This outlines how an organization intends to safeguard its systems and what steps should be done in the event of a breach. A good policy includes requirements for confidentiality, integrity, and availability, as well as appropriate usage policies. It should also specify who is in charge of ensuring that each system is protected in accordance with the policy.

Security strategy: This defines how a company plans to safeguard its systems and what resources will be employed to do so. One solution might be to hire additional people, while another might be to invest in better technology. The risk management strategy should also include identifying vulnerabilities and devising a plan of action to prevent repeat breaches.

Security program: It entails all of an organization's operations aimed at ensuring the security of its systems. Testing,  Monitoring, reviewing, patching, documenting, and training are examples of these activities.

Developing cyber security architecture is driven by three basic goals: preventing attacks, mitigating attacks, and investigating occurrences swiftly to prevent reoccurrence.  To be deemed secure, all companies must handle these challenges.

What is Cyber Security Design?

When an architect writes out plans for a building, it's called cyber security by design. The most important security elements are there from the start. 

The following are the principles involved in cyber security design 

Establishing context before system development

Before you can develop a safe system, you must first grasp the foundations and take steps to correct any flaws that are discovered.

Complicate compromise

Applying concepts and practices that make it more difficult for attackers to corrupt your data or systems is what developing with security in mind entails.

Make disruption a challenge

When high-value or important services are delivered through technology, it is critical that the technology is constantly available. The allowed proportion of 'down time' in these instances can effectively be zero.

Make it easier to detect compromise

Even if you take all existing measures, there's still a chance that a new or unknown assault can damage your system. You should be well equipped to detect compromise to offer yourself the best opportunity of detecting these attempts.

Reduction of Compromise's influence

Design to reduce the severity of any tradeoff organically.

Again there is the cyber security infrastructure design document that forms a crucial component in security development and implementation. 

The Security Infrastructure Design Document assists in the documentation and tracking of information needed to adequately describe the architecture and system design to provide insights on the security architecture of the IT environment that will be constructed. This includes finding any applicable standards, rules, and regulations that may have an impact on technology selection and implementation strategies.

By outlining the aspects required for appropriate security design, the SIDD clarifies what has to be done to secure an organization's network. These elements include threat identification, system and process mapping, risk assessment, security policy formulation, physical and technical controls installation, personnel training, and security activity monitoring. As requirements change or new risks emerge, the SIDD should be updated. 

Just like any other specialization in the cyber security field, a cyber security architecture course is available for architecture professionals and there are certifications as well.  Beginning with a good cyber security course would be ideal for prospective cyber security architecture professionals.

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