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Difference Between Cyber Security and Information Security

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11th Sep, 2023
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Difference Between Cyber Security and Information Security

What is cybersecurity?” and “What is information security?” are two questions often used synonymously. These questions might be used interchangeably, but the answers to them differ. As they both deal with safeguarding data, it creates immense confusion about their differences and similarities, especially among the laymen.

Cybersecurity and information security overrun each other in various aspects. Nevertheless, these fields are very different and possess unique, non-identical characteristics.

Professionals must also acquire different skills to deal with cybersecurity and information security separately. This blog will explore more about the difference between cybersecurity and information security. Let’s dive in to learn further!

What Is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a modern-day technological measure that big and small companies rapidly adopt to safeguard their computer systems and networks from unauthorised breaches and damage. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, so do cyberattacks and threats. Cyberattacks can easily alter, harm, destroy, and disclose sensitive data left without security. 

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Companies and organisations can suffer huge losses in reputation and finance if their digital security is compromised. Hence, cybersecurity is paramount in today’s interconnected world, where businesses, governments, and individuals rely heavily on digital technology. 

The fundamental objectives of cybersecurity include preventing cyberattacks, detecting potential threats, and responding to security incidents promptly. Effective cybersecurity measures involve implementing robust policies, encryption, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and regular security assessments to mitigate risks and ensure the ongoing protection of sensitive information. 

What Is Information Security?

Information security, also known as InfoSec, is a vast field that covers all the tools and procedures used to safeguard all kinds of information. The field of InfoSec is still evolving. Hence, we can witness innovations very frequently. 

The main aim of information security is to endorse and prioritise the privacy and security of the users. Information security encompasses a multifaceted approach, which includes implementing robust policies, procedures, and technologies to safeguard data assets. It protects its users from any data breach that may damage, hamper, or modify sensitive data. 

Key elements of information security involve establishing access controls, encryption mechanisms, and authentication processes to limit access to authorised users only. Regular risk assessments and vulnerability testing help identify and mitigate potential threats and weaknesses in an organisation’s information security posture.

Information security has many sub-fields, cybersecurity being one of them. Hence, robust information security encompasses implementing cybersecurity measures to protect an organisation from ransomware, phishing, malware, viruses, etc. 

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Cybersecurity Types

Various forms of cybersecurity are available, some of which have been discussed below:

1. Network Security

Third parties can breach a computer network or system through public wifi or unauthorised websites. This security type protects the network from various cybersecurity threats like viruses, malware, data breaches, and illegal or unauthorised access from third parties by enforcing hardware and software technologies. Technologies like virtual private networks (VPNs), antivirus, firewalls, etc., are used for network security.

2. Application Security

Computer and mobile phone applications are highly vulnerable to cyber threats and attacks. Attackers can adversely exploit these application software to steal sensitive data. Application security acts as a firewall to safeguard these applications through regular patches and software updates.

3. Cloud Security

Public and private organisations and governments are now embracing the cloud to store their data. Therefore, it has become an easy target for attackers to steal data from cloud storage. Hence, adequate cloud security is indispensable to protect data from threats. Microsoft Azure, AWS, etc., are commonly used cloud securities.

4. Critical Infrastructure

Critical infrastructure is a type of cybersecurity used to protect a country’s critical information with modern technologies, programmes, and protocols. Various government systems and data are prone to cyberattacks. Critical infrastructure security mainly focuses on safeguarding governmental computer networks and computer systems.

The elements of critical infrastructure security can be customised according to the needs of a nation and its government. This security can be installed in various governmental departments like food, agriculture, finance, communication, energy, transportation, etc. Any breach of this data might lead to grave losses. Therefore, critical infrastructure security is required to protect a nation’s data.

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Information Security Types

There are different types of information security controls. Here, we have discussed a few in detail:

1. Procedural Controls

This security control improves security by implementing security awareness, training on security frameworks, and security plans. 

2. Access Controls

There are two types of access control — physical access control and cyber access control. Physical access controls maintain security by restricting the usage of cameras, locks, etc. In contrast, cyber access controls update various policies like firewall policies, password policies, software policies, etc.

3. Technical Controls

Technical controls are a kind of information security that uses both hardware and software to safeguard information from cybersecurity threats. Identification, encryption, and authentication are various ways technical controls can be implemented for protection.

4. Compliance Controls

Compliance controls are a kind of information that abides by cyber laws to prevent any cyberattack. While following compliance control, the directors and employees of a company must abide by various security policies and guidelines to prevent future attacks. There are two types of compliance control— corporate compliance control and regulatory compliance control.

Audits, training, internal policies, monitoring, etc., are certain methods through which a company can regulate its internal compliance.

Cyber Security vs. Information Security

To eradicate all confusion, here is a side-by-side comparison of cybersecurity and information security: 



Information Security


This is a procedure where all the sensitive data available on the computer system and the computer network is safeguarded from potential cybersecurity threats.This is a vast field of security that covers all types of protection. It protects the information from getting leaked, modified, or removed by any third party, cybersecurity threats, etc.


The main goal of cybersecurity is to safeguard sensitive data from the potential threats that exist in the cyber realm.The main task of information security is to safeguard information relating to all aspects like assets, integrity, etc.


This unit’s security is limited to data in the cyber realmInformation security protects all kinds of data from any type of data breach.

Kind of Attack

It protects data from cyberattacks, online frauds, crimes, malware, phishing, hacking, etc. It tends to protect the information from illegal access, modification, disclosure, physical theft, errors caused by humans, etc. 


A cybersecurity specialist has to mainly deal with active threats that can easily breach a computer system or network.An information security specialist must deal with information security, data security, policies, procedures, tools, etc.


Cybersecurity is launched in the absence of frontline defence.An information security launches when any third party threatens information, data, or security.

Technologies that can be used

The best technologies that can be used for cybersecurity are any antivirus software, detection systems and a firewall.Access control and encryption are the two most profound technologies for information security.

Skills an analyst should possess

A cybersecurity analyst must possess knowledge of computer networks, software systems, and programming.An information security analyst must possess knowledge of various technical issues, risk management, legal issues, and regulatory problems.


Understanding Cybersecurity Threats and Their Solutions

Attackers use various types of cyber threats to collect sensitive information. Here, we have listed a few commonly used cybersecurity threats and methods to prevent those:

  • Malware

One of the most common cybersecurity threats users face is malware infection. Spam emails, website pop-ups, and downloads from untrusted sources may increase the chances of malware infection. This attack tends to harm or damage the computer systems and networks.

Malware infections can be easily prevented by installing top-notch cybersecurity software from trusted sources that provide safe detection and scanning of malware. Businesses, individuals, and organisations must avoid emails and links from unknown sources as they might carry malware infection.

  • Phishing

Social breaches that try to extract users’ personal information are termed phishing. This cyber threat is usually transferred through links via spam emails or instant messages. Phishing can easily collect a user’s banking information, including bank details, card numbers, passwords, etc.

Phishing cases have recently increased, with internet banking having gained immense popularity. The best way to prevent phishing is by simply ignoring random links from unknown sources.

  • Spyware

Spyware, also known as adware, is the third kind of cybersecurity threat widely used by cyber attackers. This threat tracks a user’s search history and target ads according to the search history. It can also trace your personal information, password, address, etc., which can be used against you.

One can easily avoid spyware by not allowing random websites to track your data. Firewall is the best cybersecurity software to detect and eliminate any spyware or adware from a system.

  • Viruses

Computer viruses are among the most prominent cyber threats in almost every computer system. The source of computer viruses can be linked to unknown sites and their links. Apart from this, phishing and adware can also spread viruses on a computer system and a network.

Computer viruses are capable of tracing the user’s browser history. It can also collect personal information like passwords, bank details, purchases, transfers, location, etc. To protect your computer system from computer viruses, one can install any virus detector or antivirus that can easily track and eliminate any existing virus from the system. One can also update the software of a computer to eliminate any existing virus.

  • Data Breaches 

Data breaches are one of the simplest forms of cybersecurity threats. In this situation, an attacker has breached the safety or privacy of a user, thereby gaining access to all private information. These breaches can hamper the hardware of a computer and can also change the configuration of the software.

Data breaches can be avoided by simply installing robust cybersecurity software. Data encryption, strong passwords, and updated software can prevent data breaches.

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In the present digital landscape, devices like computer systems, mobiles, IoTs, and networks are increasing rapidly. This, in turn, is increasing the risk of cyberattacks and breaches. Therefore, a dual adoption of effective information security and cybersecurity is essential to protect sensitive data.

There are various differences between cybersecurity and information security as they have different characteristics. However, both are required to protect data from sudden cyber attacks.  

Frequently Asked Questions


Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Is cybersecurity the same as information security?

Cybersecurity is a sub-field that comes under information security. The main task of cybersecurity is to safeguard information available on computers or networks from cybersecurity threats available on the internet. On the other hand, information security safeguards all forms of information.

2Does information security require coding?

Information security does not require or involve any coding in the basics. However, if there is an advanced level of security, a basic knowledge of codes might be required.

3Which language is best for cybersecurity?

Coding languages like C, SQL, Python, JAVA, etc., can be used to create a robust cybersecurity system.

4Is cybersecurity a good career?

Yes, cybersecurity is a good career option. A cybersecurity specialist can earn around INR 3.6 lakhs to INR 24.0 lakhs annually.

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