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Cybersecurity vs Information Security both aim to secure people, devices, and data, but they focus on different concerns and take quite different approaches. To store and share digital information, information technology (IT) employs computer networks, hardware, and software. Cybersecurity focuses on preventing illegal access to computer systems, digital devices, and data.

Both areas have tasks and obligations that are unique to them. You'll be responsible for defending people and information from electronic threats if you work in IT or cybersecurity. Identity theft, data theft or loss, illegal access to emails or databases, and the introduction of malicious software are all possible outcomes of hacking.

In this article, let's have a look at the similarities and differences between Cybersecurity and Information Security.

Cybersecurity vs Information Security - Table of Contents


What is Cybersecurity?

Cyber security is the study of ways to protect devices and services against malicious actors such as hackers, spammers, and cyber criminals via electronic means. While some aspects of cyber security are geared to attack first, most experts today are more concerned with establishing the best approach to protect all assets from computers and smartphones to networks and databases from attacks.

In the media, the word "cyber security" has been used to describe the process of protecting against all types of cybercrime, from identity theft to international digital weaponry. These labels are accurate, but they fall short of capturing the true nature of cyber security for those without a computer science degree or digital sector experience.

Cyber security is defined as "the activity of securing networks, systems, and programmes from digital threats," according to Cisco Systems, a tech conglomerate focusing on networking, the cloud, and security. These cyberattacks frequently attempt to gain access to, alter, or erase critical information, extort money from users, or disrupt normal corporate activities."

How Does Cybersecurity Work?

Cybersecurity is intended to provide many layers of security across all of a company's networks, computers, and programmes. It is critical that the business, workers, procedures, and technology all work together in order to form a united defence against potential cyberattacks. Cybersecurity systems that work effectively will be able to detect, examine, and remedy potential system weaknesses and vulnerabilities before a hacker or bad software may exploit them.

Types of Cybersecurity

There are five types of cybersecurity:

1. Application Security

The establishment of multiple defences within corporate software and services to protect against a variety of threats is known as application security. To reduce illegal access and alteration, this sort of cybersecurity necessitates the development of secure applications.

2. Data Security

Implementing strong data storage systems that are specifically designed to secure information while it is stored and in transit is part of data security.

3. Network Security

Network security entails establishing hardware and software technologies that are specifically designed to secure a company's network and infrastructure from misuse, interruptions, and unauthorised access from both external and internal threats.

4. Mobile Security

Businesses that use mobile devices, such as cell phones, laptops, and tablets, should implement mobile security measures to safeguard the information stored on those devices from a variety of risks.

5. Cloud Security

To protect users from various attacks, most cloud applications and systems like AWS, Google, Microsoft, and so on use cloud security measures.

What is Information Security?

Information security (often referred to as InfoSec) refers to the procedures and practices used by corporations to protect their data. This includes policy settings that prevent unauthorised people from accessing business or personal information. Information security is a fast-growing and dynamic field that includes everything from network and security architecture to testing and auditing.

Information security protects confidential information from unauthorised access, change, recording, disturbance, or destruction. The goal is to safeguard and maintain the privacy of sensitive information such as customer account information, financial information, and intellectual property.

Now that you have a fundamental understanding of what information security is, go over the concepts that these security measures are based on.

Information Security Principles

  • Confidentiality: To avoid unauthorised information dissemination, confidentiality precautions are in place. The confidentiality principle's main purpose is to keep personal information private and only make it visible and accessible to those who require it to perform their organisational tasks.
  • Data Integrity: It includes protection against unwanted data modifications (additions, removals, revisions, and so on). The integrity principle assures that data is reliable, dependable, and not updated incorrectly, whether by accident or on purpose.
  • Availability: It refers to the safeguarding of a system's ability to make software systems and data totally available when a user requests it (or at a specified time). The purpose of availability is to make technology infrastructure, applications, and data available when they are needed for an organisational activity or the customers of an organisation.


Types of Information Security

There are four types of Information security:

1. Application Security

Application security is a broad topic that encompasses software flaws in both web and mobile apps, as well as application programming interfaces (APIs). User authentication or authorization, code and setting integrity, and established policies and processes are all examples of these flaws. Application weaknesses can lead to significant data security breaches. InfoSec perimeter defence includes application security as a crucial component.

2. Incident Response

Incident response is the function that watches and analyses potentially dangerous behaviour. In the event of a breach, IT staff should have a plan in place to contain the threat and restore the network. A mechanism for preserving evidence for forensic investigation and possible prosecution should also be included in the approach. This information can aid staff in identifying the perpetrator and preventing such breaches.

3. Cryptography

It helps ensure data integrity and secrecy by encrypting data in transit and at rest. Digital signatures are frequently used in cryptography to verify data veracity. The importance of cryptography and encryption has grown. The AES algorithm is a great example of how cryptography works (AES). The AES algorithm is a symmetric key method for encrypting sensitive government data.

4. Vulnerability Management

It entails examining an environment for defects (such as unpatched applications) and prioritising treatments according to their risk. Apps, users, infrastructures, and diverse networks are constantly being added by businesses. As a result, it's necessary to conduct regular network vulnerability assessments. Finding a vulnerability before a breach occurs can save your firm from the disastrous consequences of a data breach.

Evolution of Cybersecurity and Information Security

The problem is that most teams do not have an information security professional on staff, therefore a cybersecurity professional's responsibilities have grown significantly. Traditional cybersecurity specialists are familiar with the technologies, firewalls, and intrusion protection systems required, but they aren't usually trained in data analysis. That is, however, changing today.

As the importance of cybersecurity risk management for businesses grows, the job of cybersecurity risk management professionals is changing to ensure that data is adequately protected. Companies are routinely questioned about their effectiveness in securing data and managing both physical and cyber risk by business partners and investors, who are increasingly aware of the importance of this topic.

Things aren't always so straightforward, however, given the changing security landscape over the last decade. Over the last decade, we've seen a fusion of cybersecurity and information security as these once separate roles have come together.

Difference Between Cybersecurity and Information Security

While the debate over whether cybersecurity 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. This, along with other factors, has fueled the debate over cyber security vs. information security.

  • In the discussion over cybersecurity vs information security, there are other distinctions to be made. Information security is concerned with safeguarding information in cyberspace and beyond, whereas cyber security is concerned with safeguarding data in cyberspace. In other words, the Internet or the endpoint device may only be a small fraction of the whole picture. Both require defending cyberspace against threats such as ransomware, spyware, malware, and other harmful software that can cause havoc. Cyber security professionals, on the other hand, have a more narrow focus.
  • 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 prioritising the most critical data and devising a plan to recover from a compromise.
  • It's also useful to consider the distinction between data and information on a more basic level. 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.


Cybersecurity Information Security
It is the process of encrypting data on the internet so that it cannot be accessed by anyone outside of the resource. It's all about preventing unauthorised individuals from accessing or altering data.
It's about the ability to defend against cyber-attacks when using cyberspace. It is concerned with data security in the face of a threat.
Cybersecurity is concerned with preventing cybercrime, fraud, and law enforcement. Unauthorized entry, access modification, and undermining are all things that information security tries to avoid.
Cybersecurity is the study of risks in cyberspace. Information security is concerned with the protection of data from a variety of threats.
To secure anything in the cyber world, cybersecurity is required. Regardless of the domain, information security is for records.

[ Related Article: Cybersecurity vs DevOps ]


Cybersecurity vs Information Security: Differences in Approach

Information security's ultimate purpose is to protect the availability, confidentiality, and integrity of enterprise data. As a result, IT security is a broad concept that encompasses the collection, storage, sharing, and processing of all company data.

Cybersecurity safeguards sensitive information from illegal access over the internet. Assessing risks, building a risk assessment matrix, analysing those risks, and adopting a risk management plan are the main steps in the cybersecurity process.

Information Security vs Cybersecurity: Techniques Implemented

The implementation of IT and cybersecurity differs as well. First, IT security is concerned with a variety of channels that go outside the internet. Physical access to various rooms in your firm may be covered by IT security, as well as who can open or edit specific files. An IT security plan may also include instructions for gathering data from consumers (whether electronic or physical), as well as how workers should manage it.

Cybersecurity is primarily a risk management and prevention method. Password protection, data encryption, and network security are among the tactics used to avoid online hacking. Cybersecurity has become a significant worry as more organisations rely on the internet to run their daily operations. Online data security is an important part of any company's overall data security strategy.

Both Cybersecurity and IT are concerned with minimising the risk of your company's data being compromised. When it comes to keeping your data safe, risk assessment, analysis, and management are all crucial. Before integrating IT or cybersecurity, you must assess your current environment, systems, and processes, regardless of industry.

Where Do Cybersecurity and Information Security Overlap?

To be fair, there is a considerable crossover between information security and cybersecurity, that leads to some understandable misunderstandings.

The majority of data is digitally saved on a computer, network, server, or in the cloud. Criminals may gain access to this data with the intent of profiting from it.

For both types of security, the most crucial aspect is the data's value. The confidentiality, availability, and integrity of data are the most important considerations in information security. Preventing unauthorised electronic access to data is the most pressing issue in cybersecurity. In both cases, it's critical to assess what data, if accessed without authorisation, would cause the most harm to the company, so that a security architecture with suitable controls can be put in place to prevent unauthorised access.

When two teams have committed resources, it's likely that they'll work together to build a data security framework, with the information security team prioritising the data to be protected and the cybersecurity team defining the data protection procedure.


The main difference between Cybersecurity and Information Security is that, if you work in information security, your main worry is preventing illegal access to your company's data, and if you work in cybersecurity, your main issue is preventing unlawful electronic access to your company's sensitive data.

It's critical to grasp the differences between IT and cybersecurity before pursuing a career in either industry. Despite the fact that duties and responsibilities may overlap, IT often has a broader focus on projects, such as the construction and operation of computer networks and systems. Cybersecurity is concerned with safeguarding the data contained within those systems.

To achieve many of the same aims, cybersecurity and IT employ distinct tactics and talents. Keeping digital information and infrastructure safe from hackers is at the heart of these objectives. These tasks allow us to have faith in the technology that assists us in performing our work effectively and efficiently.

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Liam Plunkett

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