“My Message for Companies that Think they Haven’t been Attacked is: You’re Not Looking Hard Enough” - James Snook (Deputy Director of OCSIA (Cabinet Office)
Is it necessary that if two things are associated with the same fundamental idea, they can really be thought of as substitutes to each other? If you would have answered the question with a ‘yes’, then you may feel that Cyber Security and Information Security are essentially the same and in face the question of Cyber Security vs. Information Security is essentially a pointless debate.
However, the actual answer to the above question is a ‘no’. This means that even though the two ideas of Cyber Security and Information Security are ultimately associated with the basic idea of digital security; they serve different levels of objectives.
Thus, the debate around Information Security vs. Cyber Security is quite a real one and in fact, worthy of discussion.
In this blog, we will try to undertake a comparative analysis of the issue of Cyber Security vs. Information Security by considering the similarities as well as the differences.
Additionally, we will try to take up certain more specific topics of concern, such as Information Assurance vs. Cyber Security as well as Information Security Analyst vs. Cyber Security Analyst.
What is Cyber Security?
Cyber Security can be seen as a discipline which deals with providing protection and security measures to servers, computer systems, mobiles, programs, systems and networks; with the objective of defending them against malicious digital attacks (Cyber Security threats and Cyber Security attacks).
These attacks are essentially aimed at transforming, destroying or acquiring access to critical data; demanding ransom from the owners of data, or seeking to disrupt the normal procedure of business.
For a more detailed understanding of the topic, refer to our blog on “What is Cyber Security?”
What is Information Security?
Processed data is referred to as information. Safeguarding and protecting this information is conducted through the process of Information Security.
It can be understood as the process of according protection to information systems in order to prevent it from being exposed to destruction, disclosure, disruption, modification and unauthorized access. Thus, Information Security as Data Security can be held to have three objectives:
- Confidentiality: Prevention of unauthorized access to sensitive information. It helps protect propriety information and personal privacy.
- Integrity: Protection of modification or deletion of sensitive data by unintended person. It helps ensure non-repudiation and information authenticity.
- Availability: Ensure the availability of data as and when needed. It helps guarantee timely access and reliability.
Cyber Security vs. Information Security: Points of Overlap
When we do try to provide a comparative analysis on the issue of Cyber Security vs. Information Technology, it is not always a question of one against the other. Cyber Security and Information Security are not watertight compartments and in fact, the former can be regarded as the subset of the latter which is a much broader phenomenon.
Notwithstanding the issue of Information Technology vs. Cyber Security; in this section, we will look at some of the similarities between the two concepts.
Importance of Data: Both Cyber Security as well as Information Security, ascribe ultimate importance to the protection of data.
Cyber Security happens to be concerned with unsanctioned electronic access to data which might result in data breach, loss or leakage. Information Security too, seeks to prevent unauthorized access to data ‘of any kind’ which might prove to be detrimental to the organization. In both cases, the value of data is of prime significance and is aimed at protecting data.
Perhaps, the most important point of overlap between CyberSecurity and Information Security is the fact that one of them has a far greater scope.
Thus, while Cyber Security is essentially concerned with providing protection to everything within the ‘cyber realm’; Information Security fulfils the same objective for all kinds of information, irrespective of the realm.
Having said that, there are still certain notable distinctions between the two concepts and the issue of Information Security vs. Cyber Security is indeed a real one. Consequently, let us look at some of the point of dissimilarities between the two.