Information Assurance (IA) is the practice of managing risks related to the use, processing, storage, and transmission of information or data and the systems and processes used for those purposes.

More simply, IA is concerned with deeply understanding threats to computer systems, such as viruses and computer criminals, and formulating and deploying solutions to protect cyberspace.Information Assurance encompasses work in operating systems internals, cryptography, penetration testing, reverse engineering, digital forensics, and social engineering.

Network security experts design secure networks and protect these networks from ever-evolving threats, using a variety of mechanisms, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and penetration testing.  Reverse engineers analyze malware to understand how it operates, how to recover from its effects, and how to construct defenses to prevent future infection.They rely on extensive knowledge of operating systems internals, assembler, and static and dynamic analysis tools for reverse engineering.  Software engineers with a foundation in IA design and implement secure software using techniques that increase the resilience and reliability of both operating systems and application software.  Finally, digital forensics invesigators recover and analyze digital evidence from computer systems to determine what activities users have been involved in, often to assist in civil and criminal litigation.