What's the Difference Between Cyber Security and Information Security?


The terms "cyber security" and "information security" are more often than not employed interchangeably. This, understandably, causes consternation in the security community. It's no wonder that there's cyber security vs information security argument, with so much terminology floating around and new technology being developed almost every day. Is cyber security a subcategory of information security? What about information and communication technology? Is cyber security similar to the features of information technology? All of these are reasonable concerns.

Let's start with a definition of cyber security and information security. Going by the definition of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Cyber security is the magnitude of the potential of securing and defending the application cyberspace from harmful threats and attacks. 

 Information security is outlined as the protection of data and systems against unauthorized access, utilization, disclosure, alteration, disruption, or destruction so as to keep up with the core fundamentals of security. Putting it in simple terms, the distinction between cyber security and information security lies in the scope.

A brief look into Cyber security vs Information Security

While the debate over whether cyber security and information security are synonymous continues to rage online, it makes sense to consider cyber security as a type of information security. Consider information security to be an umbrella that encompasses cyber security as well as other security subjects such as cryptography and mobile computing.

It can be difficult to discern a clear distinction, though, because even simple geography can have an impact. For example, while the phrase "cyber security" is widely used in the United States, it may also be referred to as "information security" in other nations. Such debate alongside other views and considerations have brought forth the cyber security vs Information security discussion.

Another distinction existing in the cyber security vs. information security debate is the area of their focus and concentration. Their limitation and boundary of focus is another distinctive character. While cyber security entails protecting information in Cyberspace, the extent of information security goes beyond the realm of cyberspace. Both entail defending cyberspace from attacks, which might include ransomware, spyware, malware, and other types of malicious software capable of wreaking havoc. Cyber security professionals on the contrary concern and confines themselves to a more specified focus and area.

Cyber security experts actively assist in the protection of servers, endpoints, databases, and networks by identifying flaws and misconfigurations that lead to vulnerabilities. In other words, they are in charge of preventing security breaches. The most gifted think like hackers and may have already worked as one. Of course, data loss prevention is a problem for information security specialists. They collaborate with their cyber counterparts on it, but they may also play a larger role in prioritizing the most critical data and devising a plan to recover from a compromise.

Drawing back on the more basic level of comparison and distinction between cyber security and information security will give a clearer picture. 

Data can be anything — for example, a series of numbers — but not all data is created equal. Information security professionals are responsible for determining what that data represents and how sensitive it is. If a series of numbers represented a customer's credit card number, for example, information security teams would be responsible for ensuring compliance with regulatory rules. They collaborate closely with their cyber counterparts to ensure the safety of the most sensitive data. However, they are in charge of a considerably larger portion of an organization's overall security.

Cyber security vs Information in a nutshell

In a more simplified manner, let us see cyber security vs Information as below:

  • While Cyber security is only concerned with internet risks. However, with information security, one takes a mile-high perspective of the security scene 

  • In cyber security, professionals learn to operate like a hacker. Contrary to this, In information security, it is concerned with the protection of data from any attack.

  • Cyber security practitioners deal with advanced persistent threats. While information security specialists are at the heart of data security, those who work in the field prioritized resources before dealing with risks.

  • Cybersafety Develops thorough knowledge of harmful malware. Unauthorized access/modification/disruption is monitored by information security.

  • In terms of cyber security, it serves as the initial line of protection. Information protection. Information security Prepares for a breach by making arrangements to recover.

  • Cyber security is concerned with hazards that may or may not exist in the cyber world, such as safeguarding your social media account, personal information, and so forth. Information Assets, Integrity, Confidentiality, and Availability are all aspects of information security.

  • Cybercrime, cyberfraud, and law enforcement are all targets for cybersecurity. Unauthorized access, disclosure alteration, and interruption are all threats to information security.

It would however be inappropriate to approach the two distinctively or separately as they are both mutually beneficial. Both the streams Cyber security and Information security essentially operates against data theft, access, alteration, and deletion. The area of interests only forms the primary distinction between the two. If you are interested or enticed by the challenging roles that professionals in both fields, proceeding with cyber security training will go a long way and help in excelling as a professional. You may begin with the foundational courses to navigate the cyber security landscape and further advance along as you gain a deeper understanding and the prowess to perform and practice as a professional.

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