In the digital world, security has never been more important. Chances are you’ve heard of the increase in attacks over the past few years, from ransomware and malware to phishing and social engineering.
Regardless of the type of attack, it’s critical that organizations around the world understand the different attack surfaces they need to protect in their business and the different ways attackers can try to infiltrate your business. They also need to understand the cybersecurity skills the business needs to do this.
It can sometimes be difficult to keep up with all the developments in the security world. To help you, we’ve put together this guide to explain the differences between three different types of security: information, cyber, and network.
Sometimes these terms are confused and used together, and in most cases this won’t cause a serious problem. However, when it comes to defining an enterprise security strategy, it is important to know what each term means in isolation. If your IT department is requesting new product implementations and has cited these types of security as justification, then don’t worry, we’re here to explain exactly what they mean.
What is Information Security?
Information security, or infosec, describes the process of protecting data from unauthorized access. The full definition, according to the U.S. Computer Science Resource Center, is: “The protection of information and information systems from access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction unauthorized in order to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability”.
To facilitate this, information security policies tend to be organized around what is known as the CIA triad: confidentiality, integrity and availability.
- Confidentiality: ensuring that sensitive information is not disclosed to unauthorized users while ensuring that authorized users have access to it
- Integrity: Ensuring data is accurate and complete. Here the information should not be changed by anyone not authorized to access it
- Availability: Data should be available when needed. For example, a Denial of Service (DoS) attack could prevent this from happening.
There are a number of industry best practice standards created to follow the triad and help organizations have the best information security possible. These standards include password strength, use of anti-virus software, access controls, security awareness training, and more.
Organizations can meet their information security standards by implementing a strict risk management process. It should identify information, associated assets, and threats and the impact of unauthorized access. He must also monitor activities and make adjustments to resolve any new problems or improvements that arise, as well as assess any risks to the organization.
What is cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is essentially the process your organization must follow to protect against the changing cybersecurity landscape. This includes the specific tools and technologies needed in a company’s arsenal to combat these security threats, as well as maintaining compliance at all levels. Additionally, everyone in your organization must adhere to these policies to ensure that the business is fully protected.
As cyber threats evolve, these security policies should be continually evaluated and updated as necessary. Your hardware and software, for example, should be trustworthy, but you should also be aware that they will need to be updated periodically to stay current with the latest threats. It can be an operating system, a security product, or even cloud-based services.
It is also essential to ensure that staff follow these policies and procedures. For example, your company might have the best security on the market, but it doesn’t matter if employees continue to use their own devices to access your data, which may be less secure. You can also deploy a comprehensive antivirus product, but you still need to make sure employees are aware of the danger posed by threats such as phishing emails.
What is the difference between information security and cybersecurity?
These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, so it is important to understand the differences between them. While information security is the protection of your data from unauthorized access, cyber security protects it from unauthorized access, especially in the online domain.
For example, cybersecurity is about preventing ransomware attacks, spyware, or compromised social networks. An example of information security is having controls in place for intrusion detection systems or ensuring that paper files are securely locked down. Information security offices need to understand and identify what information is confidential or even business-critical, and what could be targeted by a cyberattack.
Some people might ask which is more important; information security or cybersecurity. Remember though that these two areas of security go hand in hand. Your organization should have clear policies and procedures on how to deploy both of these defenses, not just one of them.
Cybersecurity and information security are constantly evolving. Overall, there are two questions your organization needs to understand: What is our most sensitive or critical data, and what measures are we implementing to protect it?
What is Network Security?
Network security is how an organization protects the usability and integrity of its network and data by implementing protective measures. It includes both hardware and software involved in a network and prevents various threats from entering or spreading through it.
It works by combining a number of layers of defense at the edge and in the network. As you might have guessed, there are a number of different policies and controls within each security layer. For example, authorized users must be able to access network resources, while malicious actors must be prevented from carrying out threats, attacks, or exploits.
Network security is critical for all organizations as it directly affects their ability to securely deliver services or products to employees and customers. It doesn’t matter whether it’s enterprise applications or remote desktop access, protecting data and applications on your network is vital to your business, as well as securing your reputation.
What is the difference between information security and network security?
Information security protects information from unauthorized users, data modification, and access. Network security, on the other hand, must protect the data traveling over a particular network. While network security focuses only on the network, information security concerns all information, regardless of location.
For example, when it comes to attacks, network security will need to protect your network against specific threats such as DDoS attacks, Trojans, Zero Day attacks, and spyware. Information security, on the other hand, should protect your data, regardless of threat or location.
Simply put, network security is a type of cybersecurity that specifically focuses on protecting your network. Information security is much broader and also involves network security and cybersecurity.
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