What is the Difference Between Cybersecurity and Information Security?

“What is the difference between cybersecurity and information security?” is a question commonly asked by not only students but also computer specialists. Although these two phrases are often used interchangeably and they’re both very closely linked, they are very distinct and different from each other. It’s important to understand the difference between cybersecurity and information security because some businesses, such as large financial institutions, require both information security and cybersecurity. Here is an overview of these two very important services.

What is Information Security?

Information security is often just another name for data security. Data security is about securing data, while information security is about securing information. Since data and information are not the same, many people wonder how data security and information security can be the same. All information is data, but not all data is information. Data can only be categorized as information when it has a meaning or a purpose.

For instance, “2003” is data because it’s just a number with no real meaning. When we determine that it’s a certain person’s date of birth, it then becomes information. Once data has some meaning, it becomes information, and information is all about protecting and securing the integrity and confidentiality of information. In essence, information security protects information and making sure data of any kind is protected. Information security is broader than cybersecurity.

What is Cybersecurity

Although cybersecurity is similar to information security in that it also protects data and information from attacks or invasion, cybersecurity involves protecting electronically stored, such as on networks, computers, servers and mobile devices. An important part of cybersecurity is not just protecting data but also determining where the critical data is located, its exposure to risk and what type of technology is being used to protect the data. Whereas internet security protects information from being stolen or compromised from any source, cyber security protects data from being stolen from outside the resource of the internet through cyber attacks.

Importance of Cybersecurity and Information Security

Both cybersecurity and information security are extremely important to a business. An information security specialist will focus on protecting an organization’s data from unauthorized access of any type. A cybersecurity specialist will focus on protecting the organization’s data from unauthorized electronic access. The one thing they both have in common is that protecting the data is of utmost importance.

In some circumstances, the two professionals might work together. Prioritizing the data is extremely important, and information security specialists may help cybersecurity specialists take care of this. In turn, the cybersecurity specialist will determine the best measure to take to protect the data. The roles of the information security specialist and cybersecurity specialist have merged a lot the past decade.

The negative part of this is that while most large businesses have cybersecurity professionals on staff, not all companies have an information security professional on staff, which has increased the responsibilities of the cybersecurity professional. This is generally alright since cybersecurity professionals are proficient with intrusion protection systems, firewalls and the latest technology. However, cybersecurity specialists might not be as up-to-date on the data evaluation process.

Potential Careers

Here are ten of the highest paying jobs in the field of information security:

  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Security Director
  • IT Security Architect
  • Security Manager
  • Malware Analyst
  • Security Engineer
  • IT Security Consultant
  • Penetration Tester
  • Information Security Specialist
  • Forensic Computer Analyst

Here are some of the high-paying careers for cybersecurity professionals:

  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Forensic Computer Analyst
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Penetration Tester
  • Security Architect
  • IT Security Engineer
  • Security Systems Administrators
  • IT Security Consultant

These careers, many of which offer six-figure incomes, offers excellent career opportunities. Some of the positions can be obtained by both cybersecurity and information security professionals.

Related Resource: What Can I Do With a Computer Science Degree?

With the increasing rate of malicious cyberattacks, the demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to increase according to U.S. News & World Report. Individuals interested in increasing their credibility and knowledge and pursuing excellent careers may choose positions in either information security or cybersecurity.