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The Difference Between Cyber Security, Computer Security and Network Security

Regardless of the size of your organization, you probably rely on the Internet. In fact, most people spend twice as much time using apps and the Internet than they did a decade ago. As such, people expect easy and clickable access to anything they want, at any time, from anywhere. So then, a comprehensive digital footprint is a requirement for any modern business. Yet, with the advances in technology have also come the increase in cyber threats. Criminals will go where the businesses are, and now, the businesses are online. It’s not all gloom and doom of course – you can protect your online presence of course. And, it’s crucial to understand the difference between cyber security, computer security, and network security. We’ll explain the components here.

Cyber security vs. network security

What is Cyber security?

Despite having to build a vast online presence, many business owners do not have the necessary technical expertise to combat internal and external cyber threats. It’s easy enough to set up a business Facebook page, but it’s much more challenging to respond to malicious threats. In addition, hiring a full-time IT team is costly and not the most effective way for companies to spend their limited resources.

Cyber security is the act of protecting your company’s confidential data and systems from unauthorized access by incorporation security protocols. It’s vital to mitigate cyber threats not just from a business perspective, but also to avoid fines associated with data loss. In the simplest of terms, cyber security is designed to protect your digital footprint.

The bad news is many small businesses are vulnerable since hackers know they have limited resources to thwart attacks. Also, cyber threats are growing in sophistication requiring specific knowledge and expertise you can only get by using cyber security services. Some of the most common forms of threats include ransomware, malware, baiting, and phishing. Further, using disaster and backup recovery services ensures your business can continue daily operations in the event of a natural disaster or ransomware since your data will be securely stored offsite.

What is network security?

As the name suggests, network security involves tactics designed to secure your networks. Cyber criminals can hack into your systems, as well. If proven insecure, they can easily mine and sell your data for profits on the dark web. If your data is breached, it can cause irreversible damage in the form of hefty regulatory fines, loss of reputation, and loss of customer trust which is difficult to recover from for midsized companies without a large PR and legal team at their call. Hackers don’t discriminate based on business size. Their goal is to cast as wide a net as possible to see what they can catch.

Either way, the most important component is data. Your company holds valuable proprietary and consumer data. Cyber thieves understand the value of data. Threat actors are always on the hunt for the most vulnerable systems. Many small businesses are an easy target. Add to this the increasing use of mobile devices to access company data, and the security threats surge. When employees check their company email outside of the company network, they are opening the door to cyber criminals. Partnering with a team who offers cyber security services means you have experts on your side managing and mitigating advanced and persistent threats.

In terms of functions, cyber security mitigates threats to your personal information, social media, and other forms of digital data. Network security involves protecting hardware and software systems.

What about computer security?

Simply put, computer security means dealing with the security of a standalone computer’s software and hardware. One of the most important aspects of computer security is keeping stand-alone machines updated and properly patched.

Computer security deals with protecting your physical computers, laptops, and other devices. It also involves proper updating and patching of these systems. Yet, cyber security can encompass all of these activities by protecting the data stored in your networks and on your computers, printers, and more. Cyber security protects everything that is digitally connected.

In 2017, WannaCry ransomware infected over 230,000 computers located in over 150 countries. For companies to retrieve their data, hackers demanded $300 worth of bitcoin. How could something of this magnitude happen? It’s simple, Windows users missed Microsoft’s warnings and did not patch their systems in time. Although, if you hired an expert team offering cyber security services, they would be on top of these types of threats on your behalf.

It is crucial to understand the most common forms of cyber attacks so that your organization can ensure you have the right cyber security services and the right disaster and recovery services in place. Cyber attacks are becoming routine throughout the online criminal community. Organizations that decide to stay one step ahead of the cyber thieves are more likely to succeed in the digital age.

There is no such thing as 100 percent cyber security, or computer security, or network security. However, preventative cyber security is a much safer investment as opposed to dealing with an unexpected data breach that may cause long-term damage. As you can see, the differences between cyber security, computer security, and network security are quite subtle.

Final thought

In the always-on marketplace, there are two types of businesses: One that has already experienced a cyber attack and one that has no idea their systems are already infected. Scary thought? It doesn’t have to be. Are you ready to take your cyber security protocols to the next level? Do you want to thrive in the digital era? Contact SSI today to learn how.

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