Cyber Security vs IT Security: Is There a Difference?

What’s the difference between cyber security and IT security? There are many overlapping areas between these two terms, but what’s the technical difference?

Information Technology Security* known as IT Security, is the process of implementing measures and systems designed to securely protect and safeguard information utilizing various forms of technology. The information you are trying to keep safe is your “data,” and this refers to any form of data, whether it is electronic or on paper. IT security is thus considered a bit broader than cyber security.

Cyber Security** is often defined as the precautions taken to guard against crime that involves the Internet, especially unauthorized access to computer systems and data connected to the Internet. Cyber security is all about protecting data in its electronic form. Included in this is the process of implementing technology in order to protect this electronic data.

Often information technology security professionals and cyber security professionals will work hand in hand to protect a company’s data and prevent unauthorized access. Although in many instances today, both an IT security professional and a cyber security professional will not both be employed by a company. In many companies, cyber security professionals will be found addressing the needs of protecting all data.

Below is a graphic that shows how cyber security is often considered a part of IT security.

Cyber Security Part of IT Security


At George Mason, we prepare business executives for the cyber threats that exist today. George Mason’s MS in Management of Secure Information Systems is an information security degree providing a path to enhance professionals in the IT security and cyber security fields. This IT security degree provides students with the leadership and management expertise needed while addressing the specific technology and policy challenges of modern information systems and networks.  This cross-disciplinary program draws on the expertise of faculty members within the School of Business, School of Public Policy, and Volgenau School of Engineering.



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Jackie Buchy

Since 2011, I have served as the assistant dean for graduate enrollment at George Mason University's School of Business. In my role, I work with prospective graduate students to identify and select the best graduate program to meet their career goals.

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