There has been a lot of confusion between Cyber security and Information Security among the folks of the security world. They are thought to be the same thing. It's no wonder that there's a cybersecurity vs. information security argument with so many words floating about and emerging innovations being launched almost every day.
Because they are both responsible for securing and safeguarding computer systems from attacks and data breaches, the terms cybersecurity and information security are frequently confused and, unfortunately, used interchangeably.
So the question is, What are both of these? Are they actually the same thing or is cybersecurity a part of information security? Is it the other way round?
To find the answers to all of these questions we need to first define both of them so that we can get some clarity upon them. To understand this first of all let me make something clear. See there is a lot of data around us, but none of it is helpful until it is given some context in which it may be defined, interpreted, and processed as information.
For instance - “06091999” is a random number and holds no importance for you until I give you a context that this is a birth date. Now that you have this context, you can define this number, and it now contains definitive information, i.e. this data has turned into information. So “information” is such data that holds some information.
Now let’s move forward and dive into the definitions of these two.
What is Information Security?
Information strategy (InfoSec) is focused on safeguarding data and is primarily concerned with the confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility of data, often called CIA. In a nutshell, information security is the prevention of unauthorized access or manipulation of data while it is being stored or transferred from one system to another.
Data, particularly personal information and information of high value, must be kept private, and any unauthorized access must be blocked. Proceeding onto the integrity part, the stored data must be preserved in the right order, and any unorderly modifications made by an unauthorized individual must be quickly restricted.
Finally, authorized people must be able to access the data saved at any time. That activity is likely to be jeopardized by a denial-of-service attack. Organizations implement rules such as access control policies, password policies, and data support and operation strategies to guarantee that information security runs smoothly.
What is Cyber Security?
According to the Security Scorecard, NIST defines cybersecurity as the “ability to safeguard or defend the use of cyberspace against cyber attacks.” While there are other definitions – CISA and ISO each have their own — the majority of them are similar. Cybersecurity is concerned with preventing the compromise or assault of electronic data.
Consider the PCs, servers, networks, and mobile devices that your company uses. Understanding the definition of cybersecurity isn't enough until you have a basic understanding of the various sorts of breaches.
Cybercrime (seeking financial gain), cyber-attacks (mainly political attacks), and cyberterrorism are the four types of attacks. Malware, which includes viruses, trojans, spyware, ransomware, adware, and botnets, is frequently used to execute these attacks. SQL injection, phishing, and denial-of-service assaults are some of the additional recognized methods.
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There is undoubtedly some ambiguity surrounding these terms, owing to the fact that they overlap a whole deal. In a nutshell, one is concerned with data security in cyberspace, while the other is concerned with data security in general. For novices, the concept is simple yet difficult to understand.
Realms of Information Security and CyberSecurity
According to the University of San Diego, Information security may be traced back to when humans first began preserving secrets; in the beginning, tangible papers and documents were kept under lock and key.
When businesses began to use computers, network security became critical to safeguarding the electronic network architecture of these critical systems. The internet revolutionized everything, bringing previously unimaginable technical capabilities but also introducing new risks and spawning a crucial new sector – Cybersecurity.
So, now that we know what these two are, Let’s understand whether one of them is a subset of the other or are both completely different things.
Cybersecurity refers to the protection of data, storage sources, and devices from cyber-attacks. Information security, on the other hand, is designed to safeguard data from any type of attack, whether analog or digital. Cybersecurity often deals with cybercrime, cyber fraud, and law enforcement.
Cybercrime, cyber fraud, and law enforcement are mostly core issues in cybersecurity. Information security, on the other hand, is concerned with unauthorized access, disclosure alteration, and interruption. Information security is for information regardless of the domain, whereas cybersecurity is for everything in the cyber world.
The basis of data security is information security experts, and security professionals connected with it prioritize resources before dealing with risks. Professionals in cybersecurity, on the other hand, deal with advanced persistent threats.
Cybersecurity experts take a more active role in safeguarding servers, endpoints, databases, and networks by identifying security flaws and misconfigurations that lead to vulnerabilities. The internet, on the other hand, or the endpoint device may only be a component of a broader picture for an InfoSec professional.
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A bulk of corporate data and sensitive information is increasingly being stored on a cloud provider, such as AWS cloud services, a laptop, or someplace else on the Internet. However, a decade ago, most of the critical data was kept in a file cabinet in the workplace. Professionals in information security come from this background, physically protecting data from unwanted access.
Overlap between Information Security and Cyber-Security
Information risk management necessitates cybersecurity and data protection. Understanding the risks, weaknesses, and value of an electric information resource are all part of assessing cybersecurity risk.
Both InfoSec and Cyber-Security professionals must understand which data is most important to the company to focus on implementing the appropriate cyber risk management and monitoring controls on that data.
In some cases, an information security expert would assist a cybersecurity professional in prioritizing data protection, and the cybersecurity professional would then decide on the best course of action for data protection. Information security specialists are responsible for determining what that data represents and how sensitive it is.
It is the responsibility of information security teams to guarantee that a string of digits is compatible with government rules if it is a customer's credit card number. They collaborate closely with their cyber colleagues to ensure the safety of the most sensitive data.
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Cybersecurity, in this perspective, is a subset of Information security that deals with safeguarding an organization's internet-connected systems from cyberattacks.
Relation between Information Security and Cyber Security
So, in the end, we may finish our debate by concluding that both of these technologies are mutually beneficial and complementary to each other. Both jobs guard against data theft, access, alteration, and deletion. The primary distinction is the scope of their interests. In an age where internet dangers loom over businesses every second, combining information security and cybersecurity is a requirement to maintain a safe workplace.