Cyber security is often confused with information security from a layman's perspective. While the underlying principle is similar, their overall focus and implementation differ considerably. There is a clear-cut path for both sectors, which seldom collide. Today's focus will be a 'cyber security vs information security’ tutorial that lists each sector's functions and clarifies any confusion you may have between them.

You can start by learning about what is cyber security first.

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What Is Cyber Security?


Cyber security is the activity of securing computer systems, networks, devices, and applications from cyber attacks of any kind. Cyber security threats have risen above critical levels because of the inevitable spread of digital transformation, putting your sensitive data in jeopardy.

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Because of its complexity in geopolitics and the more dispersed attack methods, corporations and national governments have begun to perceive cyber security as a key concern. Many firms increasingly include information risk management into their overall risk management strategy.

Read more: Cyber Security Framework: Types, Benefits, and Best Practices

Cyber Security is usually considered a target against the following threats:

  • Malware Attacks
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
  • Poor configuration of Cloud services
  • Social Engineering

In the next section of this tutorial on "cyber security vs information security", you will cover the basics of information security and its benefits.

Read more: How AI and Machine Learning Are Impacting Cyber Security?

What Is Information Security?


Information security (commonly known as InfoSec) refers to the procedures and practices used by corporations to protect their data. This contains policy settings that prevent unauthorized people from accessing company or personal data. Information security is a fast-evolving and dynamic discipline that includes everything, from network and security design to testing and auditing.

Information security protects sensitive data from unauthorized acts such as scrutiny, modification, recording, disruption, or destruction. The goal is to secure and preserve the privacy of important data like client account information, financial information, or intellectual property.

To further distinguish these topics, go through some of the key differences between cybersecurity and information security.

Cyber Security vs. Information Security

While there continues to be a lively online debate about whether cyber security and information security mean the same thing, it makes sense to look at cyber security as a form of information security. Think of information security as an umbrella, with cyber security and other security topics like cryptography and mobile computing underneath it.

Drawing a clear distinction can be tough, though, given that simple geography can make an impact. For example, the term cyber security is used widely throughout the United States, but in other countries around the world, it could also be commonly called information security. This and other factors have helped keep the cyber security versus information security debate alive.

There are other distinctions in the cyber security vs information security discussion, too.  While cyber security deals with protecting the information in cyberspace, information security means protecting the data in cyberspace and beyond. In other words, the Internet or the endpoint device may only be part of the larger picture. Both involve protecting cyberspace from hacks, which can include ransomware, spyware, malware, and other types of harmful software that can cause all kinds of havoc. Cyber security professionals, however, have a more narrow focus.

Cyber security professionals take an active role in helping to protect servers, endpoints, databases, and networks by finding holes and misconfigurations that create vulnerabilities. In other words, they are responsible for preventing breaches. The most talented think like hackers and may have even been one in the past. Of course, information security professionals are also concerned with data loss prevention. They work together with their cyber counterparts on it but may take a broader role in prioritizing the most sensitive data first and making a plan for how to recover from a breach.

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It's also helpful to think of the difference between data and information at a more fundamental level. Data can be anything — a series of numbers, for example — but all data is not equal. What that data represents and how sensitive it falls squarely under the purview of information security professionals. If a series of numbers was a customer's credit card number, for example, it is the responsibility of information security teams to ensure that they are compliant with government regulations. Again, they work closely with their cyber colleagues to ensure that the most critical data is safe. But are responsible for a much more significant stake of overall security in an organization.

Cyber Security

Information Security

Protects data in cyberspace

Helps secure avenues to access data

Risks include malware and network attacks

Need to secure misinformation and entry

Hardened data using encryption

Takes compliance and policies into account


In this tutorial on cyber security vs information security, you covered the basics of both sectors while going through the primary differences between them. A beginner in the IT industry can choose either of these fields to pursue a career in. However, the market still leans slightly on the security side of things.

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Do you have any queries about cyber security vs information security? Remember to leave your thoughts and queries in the comment section below, and we will get back to you soon.

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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