Availability

What Does Availability Mean?

Availability, in the context of a computer system, refers to the ability of a user to access information or resources in a specified location and in the correct format.

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Techopedia Explains Availability

Availability is one of the five pillars of Information Assurance (IA). The other four are integrity, authentication, confidentiality and nonrepudiation.

When a system is regularly non-functioning, information availability is affected and significantly impacts users. In addition, when data is not secure and easily available, information security is affected, i.e., top secret security clearances. Another factor affecting availability is time. If a computer system cannot deliver information efficiently, then availability is compromised.

Data availability must be ensured by storage, which may be local or at an offsite facility. In the case of an offsite facility, an established business continuity plan should state the availability of this data when onsite data is not available. At all times, information must be available to those with clearance.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.