IT Security Vs Cyber Security: The terms IT security, Information security and Cybersecurity are often used interchangeably, and many people often (mistakenly) thought of them as the same thing.
So, what are the differences between the two terms? Is IT security a part of Cybersecurity? Is it the other way around? What about IT security vs Information security? Are they the same? These are all valid questions, and to be honest, they are just the tip of the iceberg.
In this article, we will attempt to answer those questions once and for all and cover everything you might need to know about IT security VS cybersecurity.
Let’s start from the very beginning and look at how cybersecurity and IT security are defined.
What Is IT Security?
IT security is short of Information Technology security, and we can also use the terms’ information security’ and ‘data security’ to cover the same meaning.
Allowing the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), IT security is:
“The protection of information and information system (information technologies) from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction to provide confidentiality, integrity, and availability.”
In short, IT security is all about the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of data/information. IT security aims to keep an organization’s data safe and reliable.
As we know, a huge part of protecting our data/information is implementing cybersecurity, so we can say that a (major) part of IT security is cybersecurity.
What Is Cyber Security?
Still from NIST, the definition of cybersecurity is:
“The ability to defend or protect the use of cyberspace from cyber attacks.”
It’s significant to note that not all cyber attacks are about stealing data or information. For example, a DDoS attack’s objective is to shut down a website or system to provide service for its users and has nothing to do with data thievery.
Cybersecurity covers a more extensive scope than IT security. While IT security’s primary concern is about protecting data and managing bots, the content of cybersecurity is to protect the whole system/network from all kinds of cyberattacks.
Also Read: How Technology and Cybersecurity Change Each Other
Why Are These Terms Often Confused With Each Other?
As we can see from the definitions, there are some overlaps between cybersecurity and IT security, and the confusions surrounding the two terms are sometimes justified.
Why? we’ve discussed that not all cyberattacks target data/information, most of them do. Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities they can exploit to gain access to sensitive and valuable data stored on a computer, server, network, or even in the cloud.
So, a significant part of cybersecurity is IT security, and at the same time, IT security won’t perform appropriately without taking account of the more considerable scope of cyber security.
Suppose in an organization. There are two separate teams for each. Both teams will likely work together in protecting the organization’s data, albeit having different resources for each group. The IT security team will prioritize protecting the data. In contrast, the cyber security team will be responsible for developing a cyber security protocol with data protection included within the scope.
Also Read: Back to Basics: Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity at Work
IT Security VS Cyber Security: Key Differences
We’ve discussed the definitions of the two terms, the chart below will showcase the core differences between the two security practices:
|IT Security||Cyber Security|
|Focuses solely on protecting data and information||Focuses on protecting the system from all kinds of cyber attacks, including but not limited to data thievery/breach|
|Protecting the data from any threats, including various cyber attacks, but also non-malicious causes (i.e. employee ignorance)||Preventing cybercriminals/hackers from affecting the system with various attacks|
|Oversees unauthorized access to data/information, prevents modification of data||Develops protocols and cybersecurity best practices to protect the organization/individual from cyber attacks|
|Prepares contingency plans (i.e. data backup) to recover from a data breach||Acts as the first line of defence|
Cybersecurity and IT security are essential aspects of digital security for any individual or organization. The two terms can overlap each other, they are true to each other, and both roles protect sensitive and valuable data from being, modified, and stolen by unauthorized parties. The main difference between the two is the scope: cybersecurity handles all kinds of cyberattacks, while IT security solely focuses on data protection.
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