Information Security vs Cyber Security

How is Cyber Security Different from Information Security?

Info Security covers all types of information in any form. Cyber Security is a subset covering cyberspace or internet-based information. While Network protection focuses in on a company’s network field within cyberspace. 

Some still interchange these terms without distinction. But regulatory bodies asked banks to separate Cyber Security and InfoSec security policies. These finance regulators include: 

Information reigns king in companies these days. So, security matters more than ever. Thus, Information Security (InfoSec), Cyber, and Network Security are crucial. Hacks, breaches, and corporate espionage disrupt organizations to the core. That’s why this trio of protection matters. It helps keep business vital worldwide. In fact, leaders must thrive to keep position. So, these security measures are now standard to stay alive.

  • Reserve bank of India 
  • Hong Kong Monetary Authority 
  • Monetary Authority of Singapore 
  • and many more…

Using “Cyber Security” and “Information Security” as synonyms creates confusion. This happens even among security professionals. 


Information Security Cyber SecurityNetwork Security
Subset ofComputer Science Information SecurityCyber Security
Who it protectsOrganizations, Employees, Network users, Clients & Partners Network users, employeesNetwork users
Where it protects Computers, Cyberspace: Internet, Intranet, Systems, Connections, Procedures & Processes, ICT Cyberspace and Digital Network systems such as intranet and internet connections, ICTCyberspace and Digital Network systems such as intranet and internet connections, ICT 
What it protectsPhysical and digital files, Emails,Payment info,Usernames,           Passwords Digital files and data, Emails, Payment infoUsernames,           PasswordsDigital filesEmailsPayment infoUsernamesPasswords
How it protectsData encryption programs, penetration testing, security standards & practices, staff training programs, workplace procedures & protocols FirewallsAnti-virus softwareIntrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS)Virtual private networks (VPN)FirewallsAnti-virus softwareIntrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS)Virtual private networks (VPN)

What is InfoSec?

Information Security protects information. That means physical data such as what you find in a filing cabinet. It also means digital and encrypted data. This most general form of security maintains a focus, though. It breaks down into three aspects. They are the confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA) of the information. 

  • Confidentiality keeps information accessible only to authorized people.
  • Integrity maintains that proprietary status and ensures its accuracy.
  • Availability executes maintenance and updates to keep info ready for authorized users. 

What is Cyber Security?

A subset of Information Security, Cyber Security guards all vulnerabilities in cyberspace.  It also secures an org’s ICT. That stands for Information and Communication Technology. This includes where data storage and the systems used to secure it. Protection of hardware and software like this is sometimes also called ICT security.

What is Network Security

Network security protects the usability and integrity of networks and their data. A subset of Cyber Security, it includes both hardware and software technologies. In that way it’s much like ICT Security. Effective network security manages access to the network. It targets threats to prevent them from entering or spreading on a network. That means protecting information sent through devices in the network. They also shield vulnerabilities. 

What InfoSec, Cyber, and Network Security Have in Common

These security categories have a lot in common because they share the same goals. All three protect and secure information to keep an organization running. Interference arises in many forms. They sometimes intersect in complex ways.

For instance, a system hack might penetrate an organization’s email lists. That affects all three aspects of security. It’s part of the company’s Information, Cyber, and Network Security. But a physical file theft would impact only Information Security… Unless that physical file held info about the company’s Cyber and/or Network system. Even then, a culprit would have to use that information for a hack, breach, or theft for it to be a Cyber or Network impact.

So, the three types of security are similar in fundamentals but differ in features. It’s like a Russian doll relationship with sets and subsets. Thus, the category of InfoSec includes all that lies in the subsets. Cyber Security and Network Security break down into smaller sets. They include less. No matter the set, these three security types all have the same purpose, to protect information. Sometimes it’s Network info and other times Cyber. But regardless, it’s all information.

Differences Between Network, Information and Cyber Security

Threats, protections, and vulnerabilities make the biggest difference between security sets. For instance, threats specific to Cyber and Network security include:

  • Viruses, worms and Trojans
  • Hacker attacks
  • Denial of service attacks
  • Spyware and adware

Non-digital threats would only apply to Information Security and not its subsets. Instances of these might be product or physical file theft. Another case would be a phone call or face to face competitive intelligence hack. This would involve divulging proprietary company info in a conversation.