Difference Between Cyber Security and Network Security

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Cyber Security and Network Security

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Before we get to our main topic - cyber security and network security - let us first understand information security.

It's not wrong to say that the Internet has changed how we do everything. Within a few years, social media has been a huge internet phenomenon. E-commerce giants such as Amazon have made it easy to buy online, and Google has made it all easily accessible.

Digitally-savvy businesses are becoming more advanced than ever. As technology improves, so must the security infrastructure of businesses. As the Internet evolves, so does vulnerability. More people are taking advantage of interconnected systems and exploiting vulnerabilities. This applies to information security.

Information security is the process and technique of protecting sensitive data and information from unauthorized access. Information is an invaluable asset for every person and business. It is therefore vital to ensure that they are not stolen or damaged.

Cyber security is a subset of information security. It protects internet-connected systems, including software and data, from possible cyberattacks. It safeguards networks against unauthorized electronic access. Network security is a subset of cyber-security that protects the integrity of networks and the data being transmitted through them.

Difference between cyber security and network security in tabular form

Basis For Comparison Cyber-Security Network Security
Basic Protective Mechanism To Protect Data Stored On Devices And Servers. This Is The Place To Store And Protect Data That Flows Over The Network.
A Subset Of Information Security Cyber-Security
There Are Many Types Of Attacks Pretexting, Baiting, And Phishing. Viruses And Worms, Trojans. Dos Attacks. Hacker Attacks.
Includes Protection Of Networks, Applications And Current Information. Access To The Internet, Firewalls And Encryption With Account Credentials

The table shows some basic differences between cyber security and network security.

What is Cyber Security?

Cybersecurity is a term that covers all aspects of cyberspace. Cyber security is a subset of information security that protects networks, devices, programs, and computers from damage or unauthorized access. It is a collection of technologies and procedures designed to protect networks and systems from possible cyber attacks. Implementing various security controls and measures protects networks against unauthorized electronic access. Cyber security professionals monitor all traffic, incoming and outgoing, to reduce cyber-attack risk. They also protect the organization against unauthorized exploitation.

Cybersecurity refers to the protection of your company. Cybersecurity also covers the security of your networks. Computer systems and data from hackers.

To prevent potential threats, cybersecurity is essential. Cybersecurity will ensure that reputation and data are not exposed.

These threats also include the most popular social engineering attacks like

  • Phishing is the illegal acquisition of personal information. This happens when attackers pretend to be from banks or other businesses.
  • Pretexting is similar to phishing. It's the illegal taking of personal data. This happens most often when attackers try to imitate a famous personality.
  • Baiting is when an attacker leaves a USB or CD. These drivers can contain malware. It allows attackers to gain access to the target's computer system if it is installed.
  • Quid pro quo is when an attacker requests your data in return for money, gifts, or free services.

Cyber security is a combination of technologies and processes that protect computers, networks, programs, and data against unintentional or unauthorized access. Cyberattacks can originate from anywhere in the world. These cyber-attacks can infiltrate networks of financial, government, and business institutions.

There are four main tasks in cyber security:

  • Protect your network
    Cyber security professionals create software that protects networks. They attempt to penetrate network defenses and build better defenses.
  • End User Education

End users input data into the computer, and then direct the output. End users need to be aware of the dangers associated with cyber attacks.

  • Information Security
    Cyber security is software and other technologies that protect information from hackers. Cyber security is an ever-evolving problem because attackers constantly improve their techniques and technologies.
  • Application Security
    Applications are programs that use data to process it. They must be kept safe at all costs. Businesses would cease to exist without spreadsheets, word processors, or other applications.

Cybersecurity examples:

Here are some examples:

  • Network security: The practice of protecting networks from unauthorized access, misuse and interference.
  • Application security: This is the process of detecting, fixing and improving the security of applications in order to prevent data or codes from being stolen.
  • Cloud security: A combination policy, control, procedure, and technology that works together to protect cloud-based systems and infrastructures.
  • Critical infrastructure: A collection of tools that provides security services, such as intrusion prevention systems, virus scanners, anti-malware software and more.

Information security, on the other hand, concerns data security and ensuring that it is protected in cyberspace. The internet and the endpoint devices may be only a part of the larger picture. Information security professionals are concerned with the confidentiality, integrity, availability, and privacy of all data.

Cybersecurity: The challenges and importance

The rapidly changing technological landscape and the fact that software adoption is increasing in many sectors, including finance, government and military, and education and energy, means that more information is becoming digital. It is also accessible via wired and wireless digital communication networks, and over the ever-present Internet. Criminals and evil-doers have great access to this sensitive information. It is therefore important to use strong cyber security processes and measures to protect it.

As the trend indicates, cyber-attacks are not slowing down. Attackers target both small and large companies every day to steal sensitive information or disrupt services.

Software is constantly changing as it is updated or modified. This creates new vulnerabilities and issues that can be exploited by cyber-attackers. Companies don't realize the risks inherent in their IT infrastructure and fail to implement cyber security countermeasures until it is too late.

What is Network Security?

Network security is a subset in information/cybersecurity that deals with the planning and implementation of network security measures to protect networks and programs from hacking and unauthorised access. It protects your organization's IT infrastructure from any cyber threat such as viruses and Trojans, malware, spamware, spyware, and other malicious software. Network security includes ID and passwords as well as internet access, firewalls and backup. A network security professional's job is to help make your network safer by providing technical expertise, such as assistance with intrusion detection systems and encryption, firewalls, backup, and digital certificates.

Here are some examples of information security

Information security includes cybersecurity, as well as:

  • Procedural controls are controls that prevent, detect or minimize security risks to physical assets like computers, data centres, filing cabinets, and other computer systems. These could include security awareness education and compliance training as well as incident response plans, procedures, and security framework.
  • Access controls: These controls control who can access company information and the company's network. These controls restrict physical access to buildings and virtual access such as privileged access authorization.
  • Technical controls: These controls include multi-factor authentication for login, firewalls and antivirus software.
  • Compliance controls: These controls are concerned with cybersecurity standards and privacy laws that aim to reduce security threats. These controls require a security risk assessment to determine the security risks and enforce security requirements.

A network is a group of computers connected that could be in the same building, or they may be connected via telephone lines to a distant building. The system administrator usually handles network security. He or she may use some or all of these:

  • Passwords and User ID
    All data is kept in password-protected directories. Only employees with access to specific accounts or other business data can view their files.
  • Firewalls
    Firewalls are used to protect networks against spyware and malware. Malware can lock down computers and destroy data. Spyware can track the web pages visited by the user, and steal valuable information. The firewall acts as an interface between the Internet and the network.
  • Access to the Internet denied
    Internet access may be denied to some users due to the websites they visit. Users can allow downloads that could infect the network, regardless of firewalls. The virus spreads from one infected computer to all computers on the network.
  • Encryption
    Data can be encrypted to prevent unauthorized access. Hackers must crack two passwords in order to decrypt password protection.
  • Online backups
    Online backups protect data and are encrypted. The business records can easily be restored if the hard drive fails to function or crashes due to viruses.
  • Scanners
    Scanners can be used to find and quarantine malware and viruses that are dormant, and which will attack later.

Different types of network security

Let's now take a look at the various ways that you can protect your network.

Network Access Control

Comprehensive access control policies for users and devices are necessary to ensure that hackers cannot penetrate your network. You can set network access control (NAC), at the most precise level.

Antivirus and antimalware software

Antivirus and antimalware software can protect your organization against a variety of malicious software such as viruses, ransomware and worms. The best software scans files immediately upon their entry into the network and continuously tracks them.

Firewall Protection

Firewalls act as Administrators who usually create a set of rules that block or allow traffic to the network. Forcepoint's Next-Generation Firewall, (NGFW), offers seamless, centrally managed control over network traffic, regardless of whether it is virtual, physical, or in the cloud.

Virtual Private Networks

Virtual private networks (VPNs), allow you to connect to the network via another site or endpoint. A VPN is a way for users to connect to the network from their homes. The data between the two points are encrypted. Users would need to authenticate in order to communicate with the network. Forcepoint's Secure Enterprise SDWAN allows companies to create VPNs quickly using drag-and-drop and protect all locations with Next Generation Firewall.

Similarities between cybersecurity and information security?

There is some overlap between cybersecurity, and information security, which can lead to some confusion.

Digital information can be stored on any number of devices, including servers, computers, and networks. To exploit the information's value, criminals could have access to it.

Both types of security are concerned about the value of data. Information security is concerned with protecting confidentiality, integrity, availability, and privacy of data. The primary concern in cybersecurity is preventing unauthorized electronic access. It is crucial to know what data can be accessed without authorization. This will allow you to create a security framework with the proper controls to prevent unauthorized access.

If there are separate resources, it is possible that both teams will collaborate to create a data protection framework. The information security team prioritizes the data to protect, while the cybersecurity team develops the protocol.

Key differences between cyber security and network security in points

Here are some differences between cyber security and network security:

  1. Cybersecurity refers to the protection of internet-connected systems and networks against digital attacks. Cybersecurity is the protection of files and directories within a network of computers from ill-usage, hacking, and unauthorized access.
  2. Cybersecurity protects all digital data, while network security protects transit data.
  3. Cybersecurity also protects data on a server or device. Network security, on the other hand, protects data within a network.
  4. Cybersecurity also protects cyberspace. Network security, on the other hand, protects the network realm.
  5. Cybersecurity also handles cyberattacks. Network security is responsible for denial-of-service attacks within a network.
  6. Cybercrime and scams are also prevented by cybersecurity. Network security is one way to fight trojans.
  7. Cybersecurity aims to protect all digital information. Network security does not protect network data.


Cyber security refers to information security in its broadest sense. Network security, on the other hand, is concerned with the protection of the IT infrastructure of an organisation and restricting access. They are often used together, but cyber security is used in a broader sense and network security is just one aspect of information/cybersecurity.


  1. https://www.forcepoint.com/cyber-edu/network-security
  2. https://securityscorecard.com/blog/information-security-versus-cybersecurity
  3. https://www.secureworks.com/blog/cybersecurity-vs-network-security-vs-information-security

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"Difference Between Cyber Security and Network Security." Diffzy.com, 2024. Wed. 22 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-cyber-security-and-network-security-229>.

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