Although it may seem like IT security and cyber security can be used interchangeably, both terms refer to different things. In this article, we will take a closer look at what makes them different.
You might have noticed that ‘cyber security’ and ‘IT security’ terms are often used as synonyms. Yet both terms refer to different things, and this slight difference in their meaning might lead to confusion. We aim to discuss how and why they differ in detail.
The similarities between cyber security and IT security
Let’s start with discussing the similarities between two terms that might lead to confusion. Both terms refer to practices that aim to provide the security and protection of computer systems from malicious acts and data breaches. Moreover, cyber security and IT security are very closely related practices. They involve similar and complementary processes, but the distinction between them must be made in order to achieve a proper and successful application.
Both cyber security and IT security have a component that deals with the physical security of the information. Keeping the door of server room locked to giving authorization to specific personnel, both practices employ various measures to keep the information safe.
Moreover, IT security and cyber security asses the value of the data they aim to protect. In other words, both practices try to focus on the most important information. For instance, let’s assume that you run a bank. The list of the names of your customers is a valuable data, but ID numbers, PIN codes or addresses of these customers are in a sense more important to protect. In both IT security and cyber security, most precautions are taken in order to protect most sensitive data the best.
What is IT security?
IT security, also known as information security or InfoSec practically refers to data security. Essential concerns of IT security can be summed up in CIA triad: confidentiality, integrity and availability of the data. In other words, IT security aims to keep an organization’s data safe and reliable.
As the broad definition implies, IT security covers a vast area including cyber security. Which means, it is possible to be an IT expert without specializing in cyber security.
What is cyber security?
Similar to IT security, cyber security aims to keep information safe but it especially focuses on the data in digital form: mobile devices, tablets, computers, work stations, servers, networks and such.
The purpose of all cyber security practices is keeping electronic data from unauthorized access. In order to do so, cyber security professionals opt for various protocols and methods including the identification of sensitive and/or valuable data, alleviation of vulnerable spots in the security façade of an organization, assessment of risks and much more.
IT security vs cyber security
As we mentioned above, both IT security and cyber security aim to protect information. IT security refers to a broader area. It focuses on protecting important data from any kind of threat. Moreover, it deals with both digital information and analog information.
Whereas cyber security focuses on digital information but also, it deals with other things as well: Cyber crimes, cyber attacks, cyber frauds, law enforcement and such.