Many people are confused as to what is the difference between cyber security vs information security. Even to the professionals, it becomes confusing drawing a clear line between the two. This is because they share many similarities that make their border an unclear one. However, they have many distinct differences to make them stand out as fields on their own.
First of all, they are both subsets of one another. That means that they cover certain similar areas in online security. As per the CNNS, information security is defined as
The protection of information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction in order to provide confidentiality, integrity, and availability. On the other hand, the ITU defines cyber security as The collection of tools, policies, security concepts, security safeguards, guidelines, risk management approaches, actions, training, best practices, assurance and technologies that can be used to protect the cyber environment and organization and user’s assets.
As one can see from the definitions above, they are both focused on providing the user with security. The user in this regard can be a firm or an individual and in most cases both of them.
The assets referred to in the definition of cyber security include personnel, connected computing devices, applications, telecommunication services, and the information the whole firm will rely on for its functions.
Cyber Security Objectives
Cyber security is focused on providing the much needed security for the firm and its users. It achieves this by mainly dealing with;
- The availability of security protocols for the firms and their users. For example, it ensures that the user can access information without hitches. The target here is information security and availability. It thus deals with increasing the uptime while reducing the downtime.
- The integrity of the system. This aspect entails providing security protocols that need to be followed each time a user has access to the resources of a specific firm. For example, the use of passwords and their logins are some of the ways in which cyber security ensures integrity.
- The confidentiality of the system. Confidentiality bases on the capabilities of the system to keep its elements secret from unwanted parties. This includes information and the protocols running the flow of the information such as the mapping technique used by the firm to secure its network.
Information Security Objectives
The objectives of information security are almost similar to those of cyber security but mostly restricted to information. They include:
- Integrity – just like in the case of cyber security, information security also ensures the integrity of information by use of logins and passwords for their accounts.
- Confidentiality – information security is also focused on ensuring that only specific users can access certain types of information through the implementation of various layers of security in a firm or networking facility.
- Accountability – through putting in place various protocols, information security ensures that users are held accountable for certain parts of the firm. For example, people at the management levels in a firm will have access to various types of information and not those below them.
- Availability – in a manner similar to cyber security, information security also makes sure that the user is always accessing their information whenever they need it without any downtime.
Differences Cyber Security vs Information Security
Among the main differences between cyber security vs information security are:
- Information security deals with both soft and hard forms of information while cyber security does not deal with paper copies of information. In that regard, information security covers a wider area of information than cyber security.
- Cyber security deals with both information and cyber warfare while information security does not handle these two aspects.
- Cyber security also shows its aggressive nature by focusing on issues of cyber bullying, online sexual abuse, cyber stalking and online efforts to radicalize people. Information security does not deal with these issues in any way. However, it may come in to complement the efforts of cyber security.
- Information security does also not deal with control systems in a given situation. For example, it does not deal with the protection of critical infrastructure of a given firm or network. This aspect is dealt with by cyber security.
- Although cyber security deals with the preservation of integrity, confidentiality and the availability of information, it does not do so with personal, administrative or physical measures.
When it comes to the differences and similarities between cyber security vs information security, they are difficult to discern. However, an in-depth analysis reveals the underlying differences.