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The Difference Between Cybersecurity & Network Security

By Elliot Anderson  |  July 12, 2021

Today’s threat landscape is more diverse and expansive compared to any period since the beginning of the information age. Recent security trends such as the increase in malicious activities rising by 358% from July 2019 to July 2020 and 90% of healthcare organizations reporting security breaches to highlight the increased dangers enterprises face.

To effectively detect and mitigate threat factors to IT infrastructure, understanding the different features associated with delivering cybersecurity and network security is required…and yes there are differences between both. Here, the differences will be outlined including the diverse security tools that can be used to secure cyber infrastructure and enterprise networks.

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the processes you deploy to defend your organization’s IT architecture which includes the network, computers, and the data it produces from unauthorized access and attacks. Implementing cybersecurity measures involves the use of security tools to ensure the aforementioned assets are protected.

Enterprises that produce or store a large amount of data are more likely to experience cybersecurity incidents. Security operations centers designed to tackle cybersecurity incidents make use of tools that fall into the security orchestration, automation, and response tools and/or security information and event management solutions.

To effectively deal with cybersecurity threats, security tools are deployed to predict threat events, analyze them, and employ the right responses to mitigate threats.  Enterprises with functioning IT architecture are expected to invest in cybersecurity solutions to deal with related security incidents.

What is Network Security?

Network security is a subset of cybersecurity because it focuses on protecting the data that is sent and received through your IT architecture or networks. Implementing network security to respond to incidents involves the use of both hardware and software security solutions to secure devices with access to your networks.

The security tools used to deliver network security includes anti-viruses, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention solutions, and virtual private networks. These tools work together to limit unauthorized access to your enterprise networks and when successful breaches occur, they work to get the attacker out of your networks as quickly as possible.

Cybersecurity vs. Network Security

The definition of both security processes highlights the most important distinction between cybersecurity and network security. Using the above definition, network security is a subset of cybersecurity that focuses on securing computer networks, the data sent through them, and the devices that have access to these data.

Other important distinguishing factors that help when struggling with differentiating between cybersecurity vs. network security include:

  • Types of Security Threats – Networks are susceptible to attacks such as spyware and adware, denial of service attacks, viruses and worms, and zero-day attacks. Cybersecurity deals with attacks propagated through phishing, pretexting, and baiting. The personal approach cybersecurity incidents take is one reason why human error is the leading cause for successful cyber-attacks.
  • Security Tools Used – The security tools used to deliver network security include firewalls, intrusion and prevention solutions, network security monitoring tools, and virtual private networks. The security tools applied to handle cybersecurity threats include SOAR and SIEM tools.
  • Security Deployment Procedure - In many cases, network security solutions are integrated into hardware and software infrastructure by default and require regular updates while effort must be put into selecting, purchasing, and deploying the correct cybersecurity tools. It’s not all bad news though because cybersecurity services can be outsourced to providers that help with deploying cybersecurity tools.


Cybersecurity vs. network security is hardly a battle outside the need to understand the differentiating factors because enterprises are expected to deploy cybersecurity and network security tools to protect IT infrastructure. The solutions used to secure both cyber and network assets must be integrated into SOCs if you intend to be prepared to handle the different risks attackers throw your way.

For more information about the differences between network and cybersecurity contact us to reach one of our team members.

By Elliot Anderson

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