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Why is Cyber Security & Information Security important?

As the role of information, technology and connectivity continues to grow, our reliance on cyberspace is one of the defining features of modern life. With this information age comes increased opportunity for cyber criminals to engage in espionage, cyber fraud, cyber scams, sabotage, and information theft. In fact, The Australian Cyber Security Centre received one report every 10 minutes between July 2019 and June 2020.

Due to the ever-changing age of information, there is a growing demand for specialists in both cyber security and information security. So, what’s the difference between cyber security and information security? Read on to learn about career opportunities in both fields, as well as the distinction between them. 

Cyber security vs information security

As the cyber security and information security industries expand, more people are looking to undertake academic studies in these areas. Siyakha Mthunzi, one of our Cyber Security subject matter experts (SMEs), says demand for further study in this area has increased in recent years. 

While these two terms are often used synonymously, there is debate among experts regarding how much these disciplines overlap and most agree on the key differences. Cyber security covers the overarching mission of protecting computers, networks, information, and devices from malicious activity within cyberspace. On the other hand, information security is primarily concerned with securing data confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Let’s further explore the difference between cyber security vs information security. 

What is cyber security?

Risk management is the central focus of cyber security, with an aim to increase an organisation's defenses against various types of cyber-attacks. Without a strong cyber security risk management strategy, businesses and institutions can be left vulnerable to cyber criminals seeking political or financial gain using ransomware, spyware, viruses, phishing, or denial of service techniques. 

Cyber security professionals need to identify and protect all technological assets, understand an organisation’s risk profile, and create and implement incident response plans, while  ensuring legal and regulatory compliance. 

What is information security in cyber security?

Information security is a crucial part of any cyber security strategy. This field is all about ensuring data security in an increasingly data driven world. You’ve likely seen a number of large data breaches in the headlines over recent years, like the June 2021 LinkedIn breach where information from 700 million users was found for sale on a hacking forum. New South Wales Health, Facebook and TPG have also suffered compromises to their information security in 2021. 

Information security professionals perform a more specialised role overseeing access to information for organisations internally and externally, ensuring compliance with data security regulations and safeguarding access to data in the event of an attack. 


Take advantage of global demand for cyber security expertise

Recent figures suggest that organisations are recognising the importance of cyber security. Research and advisory firm Gartner predicts that corporate spending on security and risk management is set to exceed $150 billion in 2021, while IT spending projected to reach $4.5 trillion in 2022.

The number of organisations employing cyber security or data security officers is increasing and presents many opportunities for employment in this field. Demand for professionals is currently exceeding supply, leading to unprecedented opportunities for career growth within cyber security.

“A skills shortage has seen a global increase in demand for cyber and information security workers, without which the adverse implications could be catastrophic” - Siyakha N Mthunzi, University of Adelaide Cyber Security SME. 

However, professionals need the right cyber security training and skills to succeed in their careers. For those working in the IT industry, further study is the most effective pathway to gain formal recognition for your expertise and move forward with your career. 

According to Siyakha, professionals with cyber or information expertise will find career development opportunities in:

  • Security intelligence operations
  • Incident response
  • Cyber/Information security 
  • Policy and strategy
  • IT Auditing 
  • Cybersecurity consulting


Upskill with an online cyber security certificate

Our Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Online will help you enhance and formalise your cyber security skillset, including information security skills. You’ll develop advanced risk management skills and learn how cyber security itself should be managed from a policy framework perspective.

“Students also gain valuable transferable skills like adaptability, analysis, critical thinking, communication, effective time management, problem solving and self-motivation” - Siyakha N Mthunzi University of Adelaide Cyber Security SME.

Those looking to excel as leaders in the industry can continue on from the graduate certificate to the University of Adelaide’s Master of Cyber Security Online.  

Book a call with one of our advisors today to discuss the next steps in your cyber security career.


Siyakha N Mthunzi (PhD, MACS CP, FHEA) is a Cyber Security Subject Matter Expert for the University of Adelaide. His areas of speciality include Cyber Warfare, Cyber Security, Digital Forensic & Incident Response and Emerging Tech. He has had numerous academic pieces published that draw on his extensive research within the cyber field. 

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