Cyber Security Vs. Information Security: What is the difference?

Cyber security and information security are often used interchangeably. Though cyber security and information security have many things in common, there are a few important differences between the two that need to be defined.

In this blog, we will be exploring the key differences and similarities between the two and understanding the career and job prospects under each in detail. 

1. Defining Cyber Security and Information Security

Let’s get started by defining the two terms individually: 

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber Security relates to the protection of data that is available in electronic form, that is; computers, networks, mobile devices, servers, etc. from being attacked by cybercriminals. Cyber security typically entails the identification of critical confidential data, where it is located, the risk it is exposed to and the tools and technologies that need to be implemented to protect it from further attacks. 

What is Information Security?

Information security is synonymous with the word data security. As an Information Security specialist, you will be responsible for maintaining confidentiality, integrity and availability of the data. In today’s modern business world, most of this data is stored in electronic devices such as desktops, servers, laptops or on the internet. It is a broader field than cyber security

2. What are the key differences between cyber security and information security?

Now that we have what an information security and a cyber security professional does, let’s now explore the key differences between these two job roles:

  • Information security deals with protecting the information/data from getting into the hands of unauthorized users or modified or removed from the system in order to maintain confidentiality, integrity and availability of data. Cyber security deals in protecting data that is from outside the resource on the internet. 
  • Information security is the practice of protecting information irrespective of the realm. Whereas, cyber security is the practice of protecting anything in the field of cyber such as social media accounts, personal information.
  • Information security protects the data from any kind of threat. While cybersecurity deals in protecting the use of cyberspace from potential cyber-attacks only. 
  • Information security professionals focus on prioritizing the resources before dealing with any form of threat. On the other hand, cyber security professionals deal with ongoing and advanced threats. 

3. Do cyber security and information security have overlapping skills?

Yes, there is a strong connection between information security and cyber security. Both information security and cyber security share a physical security component. Irrespective of where the data is stored (either digitally or physically), it is important to ensure that physical access control is implemented in the right manner in order to avoid unauthorized access by intruders. 

Secondly, both information security and cyber security consider the value of data. The main responsibility of an information security professional is to ensure the safety of the company’s data from being illegally accessed in any manner by unauthorized users. Whereas, Cyber security professionals have to safeguard the company’s data from illegal digital access. Both these practices consider data to be of utmost importance. 

Both these professionals need to determine what data is critical to the company and what is not. This will help them focus on implementing the correct cyber risk management and monitoring actions on the data. In certain situations, an information security professional would assist a cyber security professional to prioritize which data needs to be protected and then the cyber professional would ascertain the best course of action. 

4. Understanding the type of job roles in cyber security and information security

With cyber breaches becoming a common occurrence, organizations across the globe are constantly under the pressure to outgun the threats from cybercriminals to protect essential information from being destroyed or manipulated. This is a problem that is widespread across different sectors of industry and not restricted to the private sector alone. Government agencies see themselves defending persistent cyber invasions from both international and national threats. Therefore, indicating a higher demand for professionals in both information security and cyber security space to join these organizations and help in protecting the companies from current and future threats. 

Below is a list of job roles you could apply for once a trained cyber security or information security professional:

Cyber security job titles – 

  • Security Analyst
  • Security Engineer
  • Security Architect
  • Cryptographer
  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Security Consultant

Information security job titles – 

  • Information Security Analyst
  • Information Security Officer
  • Information Security Architect

5. What is the career outlook for Cybersecurity and Information security professionals?

If you are considering a career in cyber security, you must be wondering what the job outlook holds in the years to come. You must be also wondering what the future has in store in terms of employment opportunities and salaries.

According to a recent article by Dark Reading, damages caused by cybercriminals are predicted to cost $6 trillion annually by 2021. As a result, the spending on cyber security is expected to grow to more than $1 trillion by the end of 2021. As the threat increases, there is a parallel growth in the number of cyber companies coming into existence hiring cyber and information security professionals in bulk. The demand for information security analysts is predicted to grow to 28% from 2016-2026, that is the fastest growth rate compared to other occupations. On the other hand, cyber security engineering is projected to grow 12% from 2016-26. The average salaries of both the roles are somewhere between US$95,000 – US$140,000. 

This growth is promising for the coming years, so keep pushing yourself and aim at pursuing your dreams of working in the cyber security industry. There are tons of job opportunities waiting in thousands of companies that are desperately trying to fight cyber crimes with very little manpower. It’s your time to shine and protect the world infected by the acts of cybercriminals. 

Learn how getting trained in cyber security through our cyber security program will help you land your next role in the booming industry.

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