Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Distinguishing Information Security from Cyber Security

Written by
Cybersecurity

Cyber Security and Information Security are often used interchangeably, but the fact is that they are quite different. Despite the confusion, both practices provide protection from data breaches and other related malicious acts. Information Security is concerned with protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data, while Cyber Security protects unauthorised electronic access to data.

While Information Security has its origins from when humans first began keeping secrets, the emergence of the internet created new technological vulnerabilities and challenges, leading to the necessity for Cyber Security.

What Is Information Security?
Data can be stored in many different ways by using servers, hard drives, Cloud storage, personal devices or physical files. How you protect sensitive data will differ according to the type of data that it is. While paper records will be kept in a lockable cabinet and secured in a lockable room, digital files will require technological security. This type of security involves very specific access controls.

What Is Cyber Security?
Cyber Security involves protecting digital information in programmes, on servers, networks and hosted on other digital devices. Nowadays, cyber threats are far more likely than physical threats to company information. New cyber threats are constantly being created in their millions each year and are becoming more formidable. These threats present themselves in many forms, including:

  • Malware
  • Phishing
  • MitM attack (Man in the Middle)
  • Trojans
  • Ransomware
  • Denial of Service (DoS) leading to website crashes
  • Hackers
  • Data Breaches

Although physical security measures, in terms of policies and guidelines, may prevent devices from being stolen, Cyber Security measures are needed to protect company data from being stolen. These measures include password encryption and kill switches which can remotely wipe stolen devices.

There are three mainstays in data security, and these pertain to people, processes and technology:

People, i.e. employees, need to be educated about the risks of exposing the sensitive information they handle daily and how to keep it safe.
Policies should document the processes that employees need to take to protect sensitive company data.
A combination of several technologies should be used to minimise threats. These include access control measures, anti-virus software and data encryption.
Both Information Security and Cyber Security protect information in their own way. While Information Security protects sensitive data from threats, Cyber Security protects sensitive data and company networks, systems, and programmes from digital attacks, which results in more comprehensive protection for the entire organisation.

Westech, a company that provides reliable and quality IT services in South Africa, assists companies to protect their business and data from all information and cyber threats. It does this by conducting a thorough security audit and providing advice on countermeasures for an effective data security strategy. Westech’s security audits are comprehensive and accurate. Contact Westech to book your IT security audit.

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