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What is the difference between Information Security and Cybersecurity?

In today’s world, many people use the terms “cybersecurity” and “information security” interchangeably. However, like many things in life, the details make all the difference. While cybersecurity is often seen as a subset of information security, it’s important to understand the distinctions between these two concepts. This blog will provide a high-level overview of these differences and explain why organizations should focus on information security as a whole, not just cybersecurity.

Information Security

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines information security as “the protection of information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, modification, or destruction in order to provide confidentiality, integrity, and availability.” This definition highlights that protecting an organization’s processes is just as important as protecting its data.

Even as more data is stored electronically (and remember, the Cloud is essentially someone else’s computer), some information still exists in physical form. Information security is about ensuring that all data, regardless of its format, is protected.


Cybersecurity, on the other hand, focuses specifically on protecting digital information stored on electronic systems such as computers, networks, servers, and mobile devices from unauthorized access.

When organizations embark on cybersecurity initiatives, they need to identify critical data, determine where it’s located, understand who has access to it, assess potential risks, and decide what tools are necessary to protect it.

The Overlap and the Broader Perspective

While information security and cybersecurity overlap, it’s crucial for organizations to take a broad view. By considering all critical information, data, and processes, and identifying the associated risks, organizations can better define the necessary security controls and allocate the appropriate budget.

Understanding the difference between information security and cybersecurity helps organizations create a comprehensive strategy that ensures the safety of their most important assets.