Infosecurity Europe
4-6 June 2024
ExCeL London

What’s the Difference Between Infosec and Cybersecurity?

As organisations attempt to protect themselves against ever-present – and always evolving – cyber threats, the terms ‘information security’ and ‘cybersecurity’ are often used interchangeably.

At Infosecurity Europe, we understand this can lead to confusion for those attempting to stay secure in today’s interconnected world. However, understanding the nuances between these essential security concepts is vital when safeguarding our digital lives.

So, let’s demystify the differences between information security and cybersecurity, shedding light on their distinct, but complimentary, roles.

Scope and Focus

Information security encompasses a broader spectrum than cybersecurity, covering the protection of all forms of sensitive data – including physical documents, intellectual property, and digital assets. It even extends beyond the digital realm to include measures like document shredding, access control, and employee training.

By contrast, cybersecurity is a subset of information security, focusing solely on safeguarding digital assets from unauthorised access, breaches, and attacks perpetrated through cyber space. This protection can be further divided into categories requiring specialist services, such as network, cloud and critical infrastructure security.

Threats and Dangers

Although both information security and cybersecurity deal with threats to data integrity, confidentiality, and availability, the dangers are often different. Information security grapples with both digital and physical threats, examples of which include espionage, fraud and sabotage.

Cybersecurity primarily tackles threats originating from the digital sphere – such as malware, phishing, ransomware, and denial-of-service attacks orchestrated by hackers, cyber criminals and other threat actors.

Strategies and Solutions

The strategies and solutions employed in information security and cybersecurity differ based on their unique objectives.

Information security strategies take a holistic approach – integrating physical security measures, encryption protocols, access controls, and compliance frameworks like GDPR and other regulatory mandates.

In contrast, cybersecurity strategies revolve around deploying specialised tools and technologies like firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), antivirus software, and encryption algorithms to protect digital networks and systems against cyber threats.

Consequences and Impact

One area where information and cybersecurity completely overlap is in the severe consequences that follow lapses in defence.

An infringement can lead to a range of repercussions, including financial losses, reputational damage, legal liabilities, and operational disruptions. Breaches affecting physical assets or sensitive documents may have ‘real-world’ ramifications that extend beyond cyberspace.  

Cybersecurity breaches primarily compromise digital assets, resulting in data theft, data manipulation, system downtime, and potential regulatory fines – further illustrating the need for strong countermeasures. 

Information security and cybersecurity share the same goal of protecting sensitive data and assets. However, they fight on different fronts and employ distinct methodologies to combat evolving threats.

By taking a comprehensive approach that integrates both information security and cybersecurity measures, organisations and individuals can put in place robust defences against the dangers lurking in the digital realm – ensuring the resilience and integrity of their data ecosystems.

There’s no better place than Infosecurity Europe to road-test and benchmark the latest tools and solutions – in both information security and cybersecurity – to future-proof yourself against malicious cyber threats. Register now to gain knowledge from industry experts, network with like-minded peers and get hands-on, practical learning experiences.


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