The Difference Between Cyber Security and Information Security, and What Your Business Should Focus on

cybersecurityThe internet has changed the way everyone conducts their daily business. Businesses, individuals and governments all rely on information technology to run successful operations. This reliance also creates serious cybersecurity risks for these same entities. For this reason it is imperative that businesses understand what kinds of threats they face, how to protect themselves against them and why they need to take them seriously.


What is Cybersecurity?

The phrase “cybersecurity” typically refers to the protection of data, software and hardware from unauthorized access or attack by hackers. It is not just about preventing hacking attacks but also having a quick response plan should an attack happen, which would include restoring control of the hacked device as quickly as possible.

As businesses move more of their operations online, it makes sense to take cybersecurity seriously. It is not an exaggeration to say that a business could disappear if its website or systems are hacked into nonstop for several days. For instance, take the “NotPetya” ransomware attack in June 2017 that hit many companies particularly hard. The virus encrypted many of the files on a computer and demanded a large ransom payment to unscramble them. This is one of the most dramatic examples but, there are countless other examples of hacking leading to loss of money, data and even jobs.

As technology changes, the business world changes with it. Businesses have used computers for decades, but in recent years they have increased in power, speed and connectivity exponentially.


What is Information Security?

The world of information security is much broader than cybersecurity. Information Security, or InfoSec for short, focuses on safeguarding an organization’s communication and information systems. It includes taking steps to prevent breaches, but also ensuring that data is handled securely throughout its life cycle. This means not only protecting against infiltration of systems, but also ensuring employees are aware of their responsibilities when it comes to security.

InfoSec also includes privacy issues and compliance with regulatory requirements. Privacy is an increasingly hot-button issue as the amount of personal data collected about people grows exponentially. Businesses must handle the data carefully while still making it available to authorized personnel. Businesses need to take all precautions possible when dealing with personal information, including removing personally-identifiable information (PII) from data before disposal. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is an example of a regulatory requirement related to data security.


Comparing and Contrasting Cybersecurity and Infosecurity

A clear difference between the two concepts is that InfoSec looks at protecting information whether it is stored on computer systems, paper records, or any other medium. Cyber security only considers digital threats, so an attack against a building’s physical structure would not be covered because it isn’t entering through a digital gateway.

While cybersecurity deals with the technology behind protecting information, InfoSec deals with how to protect the actual data itself. For instance, there are programs that limit how much employees can copy out of databases or set rules about what kind of emails people can send which contain certain sensitive phrases. There are also facilities for storing data which are highly secure, such as computer servers in very heavily guarded facilities where the only people who can access them use complex biometric authentication systems to gain entry.


Which is More Important?

When it comes to prioritizing your business’s security strategy, it is vital to realize that there are no absolute guarantees when it comes to data storage. If you understand the risks and follow industry best practices, you will reduce your chances of being hacked but there is always a chance that an attack may succeed, which means the only way to be 100% safe is to ensure no sensitive information is ever stored digitally.

However, this would mean that your business would need to only use paper and pencils and go back to the stone age which other than not being practical really isn’t a safe way of working either as physical records can be lost or destroyed, by fire or natural disasters for example.

The best way to protect yourself against both digital and physical threats is by adopting a multi-layered approach that protects all your company’s information using the latest technologies. While it may be an expensive investment, it will certainly pay for itself if you ever suffer any sort of data breach because one single attack could potentially put you out of business.


TL;DR: Which is more important? Both.

Just remember that in today’s interconnected world it is not just your business that could become the target. A data breach in one part of your business could also affect partners, suppliers and customers which will increase the number of people affected if they are not sufficiently protected. So talk to IT experts who understand both cybersecurity and InfoSec concepts for advice on how your business can best protect itself.


Sunvera Software develops next-level software applications from start-to-finish. We are a premier software and mobile app development agency specializing in healthcare mobile app development, custom mobile app development company, telehealth software, sales dashboards, custom mobile app development services, retail software development, supply-chain software, ecommerce, shopify, web design, iBeacon apps, security solutions and unified access software.

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