Defining Cybersecurity and IT Professionals
If we want to understand the difference between an Information Technology team and a dedicated Cybersecurity professional, it's necessary to define what they are. Information technology's (IT) primary function is to implement new technology to help the business grow. This implementation can include maximizing network performance, facilitation of information sharing, or improving communication. Although IT professionals also delve into security to protect data, this often involves data in a broader sense, including paper and electronic data. Cybersecurity, on the other hand, is all about protecting electronic data and infrastructure, including Internet connections, wide area networks or local area networks that share and store information. This protection also involves detection and safeguards against unscrupulous individuals who want access to networks, programs or devices.In essence, a cybersecurity professional can be skilled in IT, but an IT professional might not be an expert with cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity Versus IT: A Comparison
So now that we've defined what IT and security are, let's look at the difference between them.
The job of an IT team is broad, while cybersecurity is defined IT teams deal with a wide range of things, including programming, troubleshooting computer issues and networking, and they even touch on security. Cybersecurity is focused solely on the protection of electronic data.
IT is project-driven, cybersecurity is about constant vigilance . IT teams create disaster recovery plans which can include data backups and storage in the cloud. These plans provide the guidelines organizations can follow when a disaster strikes. IT professionals also conduct constant testing of the projects they want to implement. In comparison, cybersecurity is all about always being vigilant. This vigilance can include enforcing regular software updates, management of passwords, firewall's and anti-virus protection. Cybersecurity policies may consist of two-factor authentication to access any digital information.
IT teams understand threats, cybersecurity deals with prevention . In terms of security, the primary function of IT professionals is to understand which information could be a possible target of a cyber attack. Cybersecurity deals more with the prevention of cyberattacks such as ransomware, social media compromise or spyware. They do this through firewall's and intrusion detection systems.
Why Add A Cybersecurity Professional to Your Team
If your company already has an IT team, you might be asking why you should add a cybersecurity professional to your team. We'll outline a few important reasons:
1. They Are Experts in Their Field
All you need to do is read the news, and every day you'll see a flood of reports on cybersecurity breaches. Cybercriminals are using more and more complicated ways to steal data, and an expert is needed. Cybersecurity is a very technical field, and in terms of education,cybersecurity experts often need to have a background in software development, system administration, and data integrity. Yes, your current IT team can handle data security up to a certain level, but cybersecurity experts know more and can work with your IT team to protect your data better. If your company deals with a lot of sensitive data, a cybersecurity expert is someone that you can't live without.
2. Early Threat Detection and Prevention
Detecting cybersecurity threats and preventing them is of utmost importance in any organization, especially those dealing with them. One of the recent ransomware attacks happened in the NHS, the UK's health system. The attack brought the entire NHS to a standstill, affecting both the hospital and their patients. Although they could retrieve most of the data and got the system running, they are still reeling from the effects months after. Cybersecurity experts can better prevent these types of attacks before they can happen. And, as a bonus, they can also train the company's employees on how to recognize threats.
3. The Threat of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
The popularity of remote working is on the rise. This means that people can access their company's resources using their own laptops, smartphones or devices anywhere and anytime. While this can be a convenient way to get work done, it can be a nightmare in terms of security as it creates a lot of cybersecurity vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities can be in the form of lost devices, malicious apps, and unsecured networks. These types of threats need to be managed, but even if you have your own IT team, this additional work might make their already heavy load heavier. Having a dedicated cybersecurity expert can help ease this burden and ensure that all remote devices are secure.
Should You Hire Cybersecurity Professionals?
Cybersecurity professionals are experts in their fields and can help lessen the threats of cyber attacks with the help of your IT team. It's not about IT teams versus cybersecurity teams. Instead, the two work parallel to each other to ensure that the network is secure and working correctly. Having cybersecurity professionals or as an addition to your existing IT team will make sure of this.