The Difference Between Cyber Security and Information Security

Security measures have long-since moved beyond relying on brick-and-mortar bank vaults and other physical security measures. In the digital age, information and data are just as valuable as physical materials. This has lead to the advent of cyber and information security – industries in their own right, and something that every business professional should take very seriously. However, while these industries may have exploded all around us in recent years, our education and understanding of them has not necessarily kept pace.


Information Security Vs. Cyber Security

Information security and cyber security are, in fact, not one and the same thing. They may seem synonymous, and unfortunately sometimes the terms are used synonymously, but they are actually interrelated yet separate things. The differences are important, and in short, they are the following:


  • information security is about securing access to and distribution of all information – this could include analog information as well as digital – whereas

  • cyber security is about securing access to and visibility of anything that is reached by digital means (information or otherwise)


Information Security

Let’s unpack this a little bit: information comes in many different forms. Data itself is not necessarily information, but interpreted data is, and this could be held in a database or written down on paper. Either way, it’s information, and its security may be important. This means that information security becomes very broad – papers held in a safety deposit box, for instance, may fall under this category. Its use in modern contexts generally refers to ensuring the integrity of and verifying access to confidential or sensitive meaningful data.


Cyber Security

Cyber security (or ICT security, as it is sometimes called) is specifically about protecting anything that can be accessed digitally. Whether information is being stolen, accessed, or viewed is irrelevant. This means the scope of cyber security is different from that of information security – it protects against malicious use of software, for instance, and against threats to the physical integrity or accessibility of hardware by remote attackers.


How the Two Types of Security Interrelate

These two modes of security can in some ways be thought of as a venn diagram, with considerable overlap. Obviously, the security of digital information coincides with cyber security, preventing its access through digital means. But the physical security of servers, for instance, does not relate to InfoSec (as information security is often called), even though it falls under the cyber security umbrella.

In both cases, the value of data and access to it is what necessitates its protection. And because this value continues to grow with each passing year, the importance of these industries grows in lockstep. This has led to a considerable increase in the roles that cyber security experts play, and because their role has grown so large, information security has now become its own distinct industry. While the differences between the two may in some cases be subtle, they are nonetheless important, and it is in the best interests of all business professionals to ensure adequate systems are in place.


Learn More From Our Security Experts

If you own or operate a business, both information security and cyber security are important. Our experts at BrickHouse Security can help you determine which forms of security you need to implement as a means of protecting your business from unwanted intrusions and information left. We invite you to contact us directly to learn more about securing your business.