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What is the Difference Between Cybersecurity and Information Security?

4 Min. Read

[ Source – Featured Photo from Pexels ]

In this tech-savvy world, keeping sensitive information private has become quite challenging. From in-app permissions of mobile apps to shared organizational files and databases, you never know when you are being watched. You might have come across the terms ‘information security’ and’ ‘cybersecurity’ or might even have used them interchangeably.

What is the difference between cyber security and information security?

Information security is more likely an umbrella that houses cybersecurity as one of the subsets. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these sectors have seen a 28% hike in demand owing to the large use case and an increase in cyberattacks worldwide.

These terms might sound synonymous but have some key differences too!

The Key Differences

What are the key differences between Information Security and Cybersecurity?

Information Security

• Deals with both online and offline versions of data that is in a decrypted form.
• It provides data protection from all forms of threat, be it online or offline.
• Focuses on confidentiality, availability, and integrity (CIA triad).
• Deals with unauthorized access involve the disclosure of highly sensitive data.
• Professionals in this domain have organizational roles which involve field jobs as well as safeguarding certain government interests and policies.
• Is questioned whenever a security breach occurs.

Cybersecurity

• Deals with encrypted data which is cloud-based or live.
• Its primary use case is to safeguard people who use the internet from malware & virus attacks.
• Focuses on keeping one’s data within the organization they choose to share it with.
• Deals with cybercrime, frauds, and online phishing attacks.
• Officials in this role help keep potential hacking threats at bay.
• Acts as the first line of defense in the event of an attack.

Information Security: At a Glance

Information security, also known as infosec, is an amalgamation of all kinds of information that may be valuable to a person or an organization. Common examples include credit card passwords, personal passwords, date of birth, security pins, etc. This type of information can be stored both locally and online depending on what the user wants.

This domain is evolving quite rapidly and has various sub-categories ranging from network security to software auditing. This type of protection will give you the assurance that any piece of information that you hold cannot be disclosed publicly. The three main pillars of any robust infosec infrastructure are:

Governance

Governance includes the Information Security Governance Framework (ISGF), which is essentially a set of rules on how to better manage sensitive information in an organization.

The ISGF can also be modified to suit the requirements of each given business. This also includes advice on how to react to safety breaches and bounce back from data catastrophes.

Integrity

This is a moral aspect that motivates the individual to showcase honesty and the attribute of respecting data integrity. This ensures that data is correct and complete. For this, organizations have several routine monitoring sessions which ensure that the data is safe. From its creation to dissemination, data integrity should not be compromised at any point.

Confidentiality

As the name suggests, this is a generalized norm that implies that any piece of information which belongs to a particular person or a company can only be seen by another entity if the owner approves it. This helps businesses gain some competitive edge over their competitors. Common examples include tip sheets and trade secrets. Another key factor similar to confidentiality is availability. This guarantees that the data can be accessed at all times by its owner.

CyberSecurity: At a Glance

Cybersecurity comes into play whenever we need to secure an online network connected to any device. Given the increasing number of cybersecurity threats out there, every device ranging from smart TVs and home security systems to IoT devices needs protection.

CyberSecurity: At a Glance
[ Source Photo Pexels ]
Owing to the increasing complexity of geopolitics and the proliferation of attack vectors, governments are starting to see cybersecurity as an important issue. Unlike information security where the owner has full disclosure of the data that they are hiding, cyber security officials often deal with data that is in encrypted form but holds a certain non-monetary value.

A hacker might attempt to enter a system to steal money or alter mass opinions by hacking media channels. If done on a large scale, this can even harm a country’s image and fuel terrorism and mass outbreaks. To counter this, one must install several layers of firewalls and use software that updates constantly. These attacks include phishing, man-in-the-middle phish kits, pretexting, and quid pro quo attacks.

Did you know? According to a study, there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds on average. One in three of all Americans has been affected by a cybersecurity scam at least once in their life.

Common Ground Between InfoSec and CyberSecurity

Infosec and cybersecurity are similar to each other in two primary aspects. First, they both depend on the presence of a secure physical infrastructure.

For example, any paper documents that you want to safeguard or digital drives where you can store information.

Common Ground Between Information Security and Cyber Security
[ Source Photo Pexels ]
Another similarity is both of these systems rank information by order of priority first and then go about safeguarding it. The value of both digital and non-digital data is the primary concern of both these systems. Knowing data value can help managers impose necessary measures of cyber risk management and monitoring to prevent unauthorized electronic access.

Fun fact: Cyber security professionals are paid quite well with some high-paying positions offering as much as $140k annually. This is due to the fact that more than 500,000 cybersecurity jobs in the US are unfilled. Info Security skills are like water in the southwest US – hard to find.

Summary

With cutting-edge technology and rapid advancements, information security and cybersecurity are now fused quite closely.

Despite the overlap, knowing the correct meaning behind each term can help you assess and implement security measures for any organization in a better way.

Owing to the shortage of information security professionals, most companies rely on their cybersecurity team to cover the tasks of infosec as well. This is what has led to the fusion of both these terms.

> Learn more on how to become a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM).

> Learn more on how to become a Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP).

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Thank you for reading my blog.

If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment.

-Charbel Nemnom-

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