Information security and cybersecurity are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Cybersecurity is a very specific type of information security. This article will examine the differences between these two terms – information security vs cybersecurity – and how you can use them to protect your small business.

Both cybersecurity and information security can protect a computer system against data threats and breaches. Both are concerned with safeguarding data from misuse or alteration by possibly untrustworthy people. But there are key distinctions that make them a dynamic setup for tech defense.

In order to fully understand the differences of/between information security vs cybersecurity, we need to examine each individually.

Hacker in front of computer - information security vs cybersecurity

Defining Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity protects networks, devices, and data against unauthorized or illegal activity like cyber attacks, ransomware attacks, and security breaches. This IT security can be applied to both mobile devices and computers. 

It goes by many names, including cyber, digital, or IT security, and defends against “cyber” risks from cyberspace – where electronic communications take place. Cybersecurity secures your business from attackers, vulnerabilities, or malicious code, including viruses, worms, and malware.

Despite the prevalence of networked mobile devices in today’s workplace, many company leaders fail to consider the benefits of using a mobile device management system (MDM). Mobile device managers can be installed on work or personal phones that connect to the company network to increase security.

Cybersecurity is a term that is used to describe a combination of strategies, procedures, and technologies that are intended to protect systems, networks, programs, and data from being accessed or changed without proper authorization.  

This protection extends beyond just the data itself. The resources and technology used to store data are also protected by security measures.

So, as far as the question of “information security vs cybersecurity” is concerned, keep this in mind: While cybersecurity is a subset of information security, it’s important to keep in mind that cybersecurity is one part of information security, but not all of it. To truly understand the distinction, we need to explore what information security is.

Defining Information Security

Information security has evolved into an essential part of businesses. It’s been around since the first computer systems were developed in the 1950s. As it grows and develops over the years, it has become a broad term that encompasses many different practices carried out by security professionals. 

According to the Centre for Cyber and Information Security at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU CCIS), information security involves the protection from unauthorized: 

  • Access
  • Use
  • Disclosure
  • Disruption
  • Modification
  • Destruction

Information Security has 3 main components:

  1. Confidentiality:  Limiting access to sensitive information.
  2. Integrity: Preventing data from being altered.
  3. Availability: Providing access to data at all times to authorized users (includes backups).

Information security includes many policies and procedures for identifying, controlling, limiting, and mitigating the effects of information security risks and providing businesses with information assurance.

Server Room - Information Security vs Cybersecurity

Information vs Data

Information security is often used as a blanket term for all activities relating to the protection of information systems assets, while cybersecurity protects data security and network security.

Quality data protection relies on the right data encryption. Although we may see data as a general term, in computer science, it gets tricky because all information can be considered data, but not all data is information.

Data is simply raw facts or numbers—for example, storing birthdays as an integer. On the other hand, information refers to data that has been processed or transformed into something organized and meaningful. This could be personal information from your customers, medical records, or bank accounts. For example: Jane Doe, December 22, 1976, 1234 North Avenue. 

That distinction may not seem particularly important at first glance, but it becomes critical when we consider encryption algorithms and other security measures. This is why it’s so important for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses, to have a professional IT management to handle their security!

Information Security vs Cybersecurity

What Do They Protect?

Information security is how businesses safeguard assets. These assets can be physical or digital and include company records, personal data, and intellectual property. 

On the other hand, cybersecurity is a subset of information security that focuses specifically on digital assets only. It protects valuable information from compromise or data loss when it’s in a digital form, such as the data found on devices and networks. 

Where Do They Secure?

One of the main differences between information security and cybersecurity is that the former typically focuses on protecting information from outside threats, while the latter focuses on protecting data from internal and external threats.

Cybersecurity specifically deals with cyberspace and all things that pertain to electronic communication; However, information security spans over and beyond the digital, spilling out into the physical world to cover all types of valuable info.

How Do They Defend? 

Information security includes any measures taken to protect your company’s data from unauthorized access and use. This can include physical actions or digital ones such as: 

  • Creating a secure network environment
  • Implementing access control policies and procedures
  • Enforcing security training 
  • Hosting awareness programs 
  • Making sure employees and contractors comply 
  • Periodic risk assessments 

Information Security vs Cybersecurity – Conclusion

Information security goes beyond data protection from unauthorized users or hackers (cybersecurity). It also encompasses policies that ensure secure access to systems, networks, applications, and information by authorized users only.

In contrast, Cybersecurity uses means such as encryption, firewalls, VPNs, and other strategic and preventative methods to find and eliminate vulnerabilities from data penetration.

The IT Landscape is Constantly Evolving to Include New Cyberattacks like:

  • Ransomware
  • Viruses
  • Spoofing
  • Fishing
  • And many others.

IGTech 365 wants to help protect your company and find out where it is vulnerable by conducting penetration tests. By using various tools and technologies, our security professionals will attempt to gain access to internal systems by exploiting vulnerabilities your business may or may not have.

If you’re interested in learning more about our penetration testing services and how we might be able to help you to increase your cybersecurity, please contact us at 866-365-7798. You can also read more about cybersecurity and how it can help your small business.

Both cybersecurity and information security are important parts of a successful business. IT professionals must always be one step ahead of those who use technology for nefarious reasons – They know how your company’s data can be compromised and how to prevent it.

Since technology is always changing, IT professionals need to keep up with all the latest tech, so you can have peace of mind. With the right tools and practices, your business will be safe.

If you need data protection, information security management, and cybersecurity help for your small to medium business, contact IGTech today!