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



Whilst closely linked and often used interchangeably by most, Information Security and Cyber Security are not synonymous. On a basic level both focus on protecting sensitive company data through risk management and data security, yet when looked to more closely Cyber Security falls into a subset of Information Security rather than being a synonym. 

The difference lies in their names. Information Security is focussed on protecting the ‘information’ and ensures data is handled with confidentiality, integrity and availability across all mediums, whereas Cyber Security looks purely at online data and works to protect this data from online vulnerabilities and network weaknesses. 

Information security, or more commonly known as InfoSec, protects data in any form. Keeping this data secure is an Information Security Specialists’ main priority. Their role involves both physical files - how they are handled, shared and stored, along with online data. The scope of Information Security is expansive and falls into a broader category than Cyber Security, so one could be an InfoSec professional without being a Cyber Security professional.  

Whilst InfoSec is all about protecting data in any form, Cyber Security is focussed on electronic data and protecting this data from outside sources on the internet. A Cyber Security professional is responsible for implementing strategies to protect a company’s data from vulnerabilities on the internet. It has been defined as “the ability to protect or defend the used of cyberspace from cyber attacks”. 

With businesses shifting to third-party cloud servers and relying on a multitude of other network platforms, the amount of data stored online has never been greater. This has meant businesses are finding themselves more vulnerable to internet threats and hacks. Implementing preventative strategies that protect against such vulnerabilities as cybercrime is the role of Cyber Security professionals.  

As every business looks digital, Cyber Security and Information Security have come together, and many businesses have found themselves only having a Cyber Security expert. Despite the digital shift, the role of Information Security specialists has not been rendered obsolete. The potential risks of physical data remain and with this threat remains the need for robust strategies that encompass all aspects of Information Security, not only Cyber Security. 

With this understanding, it is evident why these two sectors are perceived as synonymous. Despite their differences these two arenas are both lucrative and growing. Whether looking for a cyber security specific role or something in the broader information security industry, begin your job search within these growing areas on CareersinCyber.com here.


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