Cyber Security vs. Information Security: Is there a difference?

Cyber Security and Information Security. We hear these two terms used often across newspapers, digital and broadcasting mediums. The news is flooded with the latest cyber attack, and how companies need to focus on information security. You see. We often use the terms together and interchangeably, but information security and cyber security are two very distinct fields.

Cyber Security vs. Information Security: Is there a difference?

Cyber Security

Cyber Security is protecting information that’s in electronic form. It’s a portion of information security, and puts into practice the defending of your company’s networks, computer and data from unauthorized access. Included in this field is the processes, technologies and the strategies to make your data secure.

Cyber Security works with two important subsets: social engineering attacks and network security attacks.

Social engineering is the exploiting of human vulnerabilities to gain access into critical systems. The most common form of social engineering is phishing.

ALSO READ: 6 Ways to Identify a Phishing Attack

ALSO READ: The Victim Click: The Psychology Behind Making Employees Click

Network security aims to protect your IT infrastructure from all types of cyber threats that can have a direct affect on your company data. Most common types of threats that attempt to enter your network this way, include Trojan horses, Hack attacks, Denial of Services and viruses.

ALSO READ: Attack of the DDoS! How to Defend Against Cyber Attacks

Information Security

Information Security protects data in any form, physical and digital data, and aims to protect it against unauthorized use, disclosure, modification and destruction. This includes the dusty, old metal file cabinet in the back of the office that nobody ever touches. If it has important information, it falls under this category of protection. In a sense, information security is a much broader and vast topic than cyber security.

The major difference between information security and cyber security is cyber security only protects digital data. All in all, both terms put into practice the defending and securing of important company information.

You can see the distinction now between cyber security and information security. But, let’s add another layer of complexity to the equation. With the age of digitalization, the firm line between information security and cyber security is beginning to blur. Companies are digitizing documents and saving them to the cloud. As long as we have file cabinets stuffed with confidential information, the term information security will still hold merit. The future will only tell how these two fields will evolve.

Why should we care? Data breaches close companies. In Ponemon Institute’s 2013 Cost of Data Breach study, the average cost of a data breach per compromised record in the U.S. was $188. Now take that number and times it by thousands of records. You’ll soon recognize how costly any attack on your network, either physically or digitally, can be, and that it can have lasting negotiations on your financial well being.

[SEE ALSO: Data Breaches Compared to Your Daily Life [Infographic]]

Megan Thudium

Megan Thudium

Megan Thudium is a Berlin-based writer with a passion for curating actionable and enlightening content for business leaders. A seasoned author, her latest works encompass topics in travel, business and information security. Follow Megan on twitter @megan_thudium.

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