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What’s the difference between cybersecurity and information security?

Cybersecurity is just one aspect of information security. While cybersecurity protects unauthorised access to data from your networks and computer systems, information security has a wider remit. It protects your analogue data too (as in, paper records and other physical assets).

What is information security?

Information security (also known as InfoSec) is a series of systems and policies designed to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information (usually data) from unauthorised agents.

The information economy is so pivotal to business that Infosec is governed by a variety of compliance requirements, including the Data Protection Act, Computer Misuse Act and GDPR to name but a few.

Information security is governed by 3 core tenets, known as the CIA of information security. In order to adapt to today’s business world, some industry leaders believe in an expanded 6 tenet system, also known as the hexad.

Information security has grown out of a necessity to include a wide range of business-critical services, including:

  • Securing networks & allied infrastructure
  • Securing applications & databases
  • Security testing
  • Information systems auditing
  • Business continuity planning
  • Electronic record discovery
  • Digital forensics

The CIA of information security

Confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA) is at the heart of InfoSec. You can think of it as a mission statement.

The Parkerian Hexad of Information Security

  1. Confidentiality
  2. Possession
  3. Integrity
  4. Authenticity
  5. Availability
  6. Utility


In information security, confidentiality "is the property, that information is not made available or disclosed to unauthorized individuals, entities, or processes." That’s simple enough. The first step in information security is defining what is confidential and who has authority.


Integrity means maintaining and assuring the accuracy and completeness of data over its entire lifecycle. This means that data cannot be modified in an unauthorized or undetected manner.


Information has no value if you can’t use it. So, you need availability. For InfoSec, this means governing the means of access. This applies to both granting access and allowing data to be accessible. So, you need to consider data recovery, prevent DDoS attacks etc.

Where does cybersecurity fit in?

Cybersecurity provides the data protection from attacks that use technology to infiltrate your network. Along with physical security, cybersecurity is one of the tools used by InfoSec as part of your wider business security.

Like information security, cybersecurity includes best practice documents, data management policies and compliance standards. But these are all in service to information security, which will also include aspects such as who has access to the building, your BYOD policy, and even social media policy.

So, within IT, you can imagine a structure with Infosec at the top, with cybersecurity and physical security underneath. Together, they provide your business with the tools and the strategy for protecting the sensitive data that is so critical to your business.

They are different, but also the same

In today’s digital workplace, there is a lot of overlap between cybersecurity and information security.

Data needs protecting wherever it is

Whether you store your information in a box file or a server, your data needs protecting. Both InfoSec and cybersecurity are focused on ensuring that these protections remain in place.

And it needs protecting because it is valuable

Your InfoSec team’s main concern is protecting your company’s data from unauthorised access. Your cybersecurity team cares about the same thing, only through electronic access. They all agree that your data is valuable.

What they need to know is how valuable your data is. In order to put the right controls in place and manage budgets accordingly, they need to know what is most critical to your business.

Do you need more locks or more firewalls? Better training or deeper insight?

The reality is that with so much data being lifted to the cloud, cybersecurity is becoming more important than ever. Therefore, in many people’s eyes it is eclipsing InfoSec altogether. This is why so many people struggle to see the difference between InfoSec and cybersecurity. To them, its all the same.

The problem for smaller businesses is that this kind of thinking means that more and more is expected from the IT Manager. Not only do they have to manage the day-to-day cybersecurity issues, they must write policies, and ensure compliance. In some cases, they must devise strategies for scenarios that have nothing to do with IT, but everything to do with data.

The more we rely on technology to help run our businesses, the greyer the line between information security and cybersecurity becomes. But remember the difference:

InfoSec is the strategy for protecting your data. Cybersecurity is just one of the tools you can use to protect it.

Looking for clarity in your data protection strategy?

Speak to us today or download our cybersecurity whitepaper for advice on how you can help protect your mission-critical data.

Get in touch Download whitepaper
11:29 22 May 20
Changing IT support providers, like changing lawyers, is not a decision any business takes lightly or frequently. The decision is fraught with numerous questions such as whether the new team will understand my business needs, will it cause teething problems, and more importantly, will the reality match the sales pitch! We took that decision to move to Ramsac in January after ten years with another provider and we have not regretted that choice for a moment. Ramsac are simply great! From the get go we have been very well supported from the front line very helpful telephone support team right up to our relationship manager. We feel that the Ramsac team are very much an integral part of us . What however has driven us to write this review is the fabulous support we have received following a cyber attack this week. Something no business wants to happen but is increasingly a sad factor of modern cyber life. The Ramsac cyber support team were superb and really gave us first class support and guidance through what was frankly a horrible experience. Thank you Dan! Denise Herrington
The HR Services Partnership
The HR Services Partnership
17:59 16 Jan 20
We have worked with Ramsac since 2015. They offer a truly winning formula. We have been delighted by their support at all three levels: our network consultant (Colin) understands our set up and is great when we need to upgrade our infrastructure; we have ready access to our account manager who has been great with supporting our growth; and the helpdesk is always so patient for the day-to-day glitches. Very professional and supportive – thank you team ramsac!
Zoe Brooks
Zoe Brooks
13:02 16 Jan 20
Sam on the support desk is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Every time I have rung with an issue and she has helped the problem has always been rectified smoothly and quickly!
Sarah-Jane Calloway
Sarah-Jane Calloway
16:02 06 Jan 20
Ed spent two days with us following an office reshuffle. He worked to a very high standard and was very helpful, courteous and happy to sort out anything we asked of him!
Luke Hoey
Luke Hoey
14:20 07 Nov 19
Always very helpful and will work hard to resolve any issues you have.
Richard Renson
Richard Renson
16:54 10 Dec 18
Great, helpful IT Kings and Queens
Andrew Worth
Andrew Worth
12:37 30 Aug 18
fine bunch
Colin Warner
Colin Warner
08:46 06 Dec 17
Excellent managed service provider.
Selom B
Selom B
11:58 10 Dec 16
First Class!! Responsive, knowledgeable, professional and very easy to work with - Ramsac have been a fantastic strategic IT partner for the last few years and I'm sure will continue to be for many years going forward. I would highly recommend them!
Ian Windle - Inspiring Leadership
Ian Windle - Inspiring Leadership
08:53 04 Jul 16
Great IT business, with a powerful management team. Could not recommend them more highly.
Patrick O'Luanaigh
Patrick O'Luanaigh
10:55 01 Jul 16
A truly fantastic IT support company - I can't speak highly enough about them.
Sarah Whitemore
Sarah Whitemore
11:59 20 Jun 16
I have known Dan May and Ramsac for 5 or 6 years now. Dan is such a great guy and really helpful with strategic advice and input on all things IT. He's so approachable and doesn't baffle you with IT jargon. If you are looking to outsource your IT or you have a problem you need help with Dan is definitely the one to ask.
Jonathan Richards
Jonathan Richards
12:14 31 May 16
I've worked with Ramsac for many years and whole heartedly recommend their services. They are always professional, approachable and have the rare skill of making IT understandable. Their can do attitude leaves you feeling that you are in safe hands.
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