What is the difference between IT and cyber security?

Ever wonder how our digital world stays safe? IT and Cyber Security, while often confused, tackle different tasks.

IT keeps the tech infrastructure running smoothly, like a well-oiled machine. Cyber Security, on the other hand, acts as a tireless guard, always vigilant against digital threats. Both are essential for a secure and functioning online world.


What is IT?

Information Technology (IT) encompasses the use of technology to manage and process information in various industry sectors. It involves the utilisation of hardware, software, networks, and other infrastructure to create, store, secure, and exchange electronic data.

IT plays a crucial role in modern businesses by streamlining operations, enhancing services, and creating a dynamic technological environment. Through robust IT infrastructure, companies can automate tasks, improve efficiency, and make data-driven decisions.

IT professionals are instrumental in maintaining and optimising these systems to ensure seamless operations. Businesses rely on IT services for communication, data management, cybersecurity, and innovation. The evolving IT environment continually shapes how organisations operate, adapt, and compete in the digital landscape.


What is cyber security?

Cyber Security involves the protection of internet-connected systems, including hardware, software, and data, from cyber threats. It focuses on safeguarding networks, devices, and data from unauthorised access, cyber attacks, and data breaches.

Organisations can mitigate risks associated with potential security breaches by implementing robust cybersecurity measures. Network protection plays a vital role in this regard, as it ensures that sensitive information remains secure and inaccessible to malicious actors. Software security measures such as encryption and multi-factor authentication fortify the defence mechanisms against cyber threats.

Timely identification and response to security breaches are crucial to minimise the impact of any potential threat, thereby maintaining the integrity of digital assets.


What are the main differences between IT and cyber security?

The primary difference between IT and Cyber Security lies in their focus and objectives. IT primarily deals with the utilisation and management of technology assets for various business functions, while Cyber Security focuses on identifying and mitigating security vulnerabilities to protect systems and data.

IT departments are responsible for installing and maintaining software, hardware, networks, and databases to ensure smooth operations within an organisation. They aim to optimise technology infrastructure to enhance productivity and efficiency.

On the other hand, Cyber Security teams strive to prevent unauthorised access, data breaches, and cyber threats by implementing security controls like firewalls, encryption, and intrusion detection systems. Their approach involves constantly monitoring and assessing potential risks to fortify the organisation's defences against cyber attacks.


IT focuses on ensuring efficient technology governance and infrastructure management to support business operations. On the other hand, Cyber Security focuses on establishing a robust security posture and architecture to protect against potential cyber threats.

IT governance plays a vital role in defining the policies and procedures that guide the use of technology resources within an organisation. By implementing effective IT governance practices, companies can align their IT strategies with business objectives and ensure compliance with regulations.

Conversely, security architecture in Cyber Security involves designing a comprehensive framework that outlines the security controls and measures to safeguard systems, networks, and data from cyber attacks. A strong security architecture is essential to minimise vulnerabilities and protect valuable assets from malicious actors.


The scope of IT encompasses the management of technology resources, operations, and services across an organisation. Conversely, Cyber Security's scope includes incident response, continuous security monitoring, and the implementation of security enhancements to defend against cyber threats.

IT professionals oversee the infrastructure, networks, hardware, software, and databases that support the organisation's daily activities. They ensure that technology systems function efficiently and effectively to meet business needs.

On the other hand, Cyber Security experts focus on identifying and mitigating security incidents such as data breaches, malware infections, and hacking attempts. They continuously monitor networks and systems for any signs of unauthorised access or unusual activity, swiftly responding to threats to prevent data loss or system compromise. By implementing security enhancements, they fortify defences and proactively safeguard against potential cyber attacks.



The primary goal of IT is to ensure the efficient utilisation of technology resources to support business objectives and operations. In contrast, Cyber Security aims to establish and enforce effective security controls, compliance measures, and operational protocols to protect digital assets and information.

IT departments work towards streamlining processes, implementing software systems, and optimising network performance to increase productivity and enhance decision-making within an organisation.

On the other hand, Cyber Security teams are focused on preventing data breaches, protecting against cyber threats, and ensuring adherence to industry regulations. Their emphasis on security operations involves monitoring networks, detecting potential security incidents, and responding promptly to mitigate risks and safeguard critical assets against malicious attacks.

Tools and techniques

IT professionals utilise various tools and techniques to manage and optimise technology infrastructure and services. In contrast, Cyber Security experts rely on specialised cybersecurity tools, certifications, and training to protect systems, detect threats, and respond to security incidents.

These professionals often use a diverse set of tools such as network monitoring software, vulnerability scanners, and intrusion detection systems to secure IT environments. They also undergo rigorous security training to stay updated on the latest cyber threats and best practices.

Cybersecurity tools like firewall systems, encryption software, and security information and event management (SIEM) solutions are essential for safeguarding sensitive data and preventing unauthorised access.

Obtaining security certifications like Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) validates expertise and aids in career advancement in the cybersecurity field.


Why are IT and cyber security important?

Both IT and Cyber Security play crucial roles in ensuring the protection of sensitive information, maintaining business continuity, and complying with regulatory requirements. They are vital for managing technology risks and safeguarding valuable data assets from cyber threats.

IT and Cyber Security are essential components of modern businesses, providing a shield against data breaches, unauthorized access, and system failures. By implementing robust security measures, organizations can uphold data protection standards, adhere to regulatory frameworks such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI DSS, and mitigate potential risks associated with technological vulnerabilities.

These functions not only safeguard confidential information but also contribute to the overall resilience and sustainability of operations in the face of evolving cyber threats and security challenges.

Protecting sensitive information

One key reason for the importance of IT and Cyber Security is the need to protect sensitive information and ensure data privacy. Organisations can safeguard confidential data from unauthorised access and cyber threats by adhering to security standards and considering various security factors.

Implementing encryption techniques, multi-factor authentication, and regular security audits are crucial steps in enhancing data protection.

Educating employees on cybersecurity best practices and establishing clear data handling procedures can minimise the risk of data breaches.

Compliance with industry-specific regulations, such as GDPR or HIPAA, can also help organisations meet data privacy requirements and maintain the trust of their customers.

Prioritising data privacy not only helps prevent costly breaches but also contributes to building a reputation for being a secure and trustworthy organisation in the digital landscape.

Maintaining Business Continuity

IT and Cyber Security are essential for maintaining business continuity by implementing robust security policies and practices. These measures help organisations prevent disruptions, ensure operational resilience, and protect critical systems and data from potential cyber incidents.

Security policies play a vital role in safeguarding sensitive information, detecting and responding to security incidents promptly, and fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness among employees.

Establishing clear guidelines and protocols can help businesses mitigate risks, maintain customer trust, and comply with regulatory requirements. Regular security assessments and updates to security practices are crucial for adapting to evolving cyber threats and ensuring the overall resilience of the organisation's IT infrastructure.

Compliance with Regulations

Ensuring compliance with industry regulations and security standards is a key aspect of IT and Cyber Security. Organisations must conduct regular security audits, adhere to relevant security regulations and maintain compliance to protect against legal and regulatory risks.

Companies can safeguard sensitive data from cyber threats by implementing robust security measures and staying updated with the latest security protocols. Security audits play a vital role in identifying vulnerabilities and weaknesses in IT systems, enabling organisations to address potential risks proactively. Adherence to security regulations ensures that data protection laws are followed, promoting a secure digital environment for businesses and their customers. Maintaining compliance with industry standards enhances trust and credibility, showcasing a commitment to safeguarding information assets.


What are the similarities between IT and cyber security?

Despite their distinct focuses, IT and Cyber Security share common ground in dealing with technology, protecting data, and the necessity of continuous monitoring and updates. Both domains rely on robust security measures and proactive strategies to address evolving cyber threats.

In IT, the focus is on managing and maintaining the technology infrastructure of an organisation, ensuring seamless operations and optimal functionality. Similarly, Cyber Security aims to secure this technology infrastructure by safeguarding sensitive data and information from cyberattacks and unauthorised access.

The constant need for security updates and patches is a shared demand in both fields, highlighting the importance of staying vigilant against new threats and vulnerabilities. This synergy underscores the critical role that proactive security measures play in enhancing the overall resilience of digital systems and networks.

Both deal with technology

One key similarity between IT and Cyber Security is their reliance on technology assets and the need to address security vulnerabilities through effective security controls. Both domains leverage technology to enhance operations while mitigating risks associated with potential security threats.

IT departments utilise technology assets such as servers, networks, and software to manage information and support the overall functioning of an organisation. Similarly, Cyber Security professionals rely on these technology assets to monitor, detect and respond to potential security risks.

Implementing security controls is crucial in both areas to establish measures that can prevent, detect and respond to security incidents effectively. By setting up firewalls, encryption protocols, access controls, and regular security audits, organisations can fortify their defences and protect sensitive data from cyber threats.

Both aim to protect data

An essential shared objective between IT and Cyber Security is the protection of data through encryption, security measures, and adherence to best practices. Both disciplines prioritise data security to safeguard sensitive information and prevent unauthorised access or data breaches.

Data encryption plays a crucial role in ensuring that data is securely transmitted and stored, making it unreadable to unauthorised users. Security measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and access controls are implemented to fortify networks and systems against cyber threats.

Adopting security best practices like regular security audits, employee training, and incident response plans further enhances overall data protection strategies. By combining their expertise in IT and Cyber Security, organisations can create a robust defence system to safeguard valuable data assets.

Both require constant monitoring and updates

Both IT and Cyber Security demand continuous monitoring, regular security assessments, and ongoing training to address emerging threats and vulnerabilities effectively. The need for constant vigilance and updates is crucial to maintaining a secure and resilient IT environment.

Security monitoring plays a pivotal role in identifying any suspicious activities or potential breaches before they escalate, acting as a proactive defence mechanism. In addition to security assessments, which evaluate the current state of security measures, organisations must invest in robust monitoring practices to detect anomalies in real time and respond promptly. Ongoing security training not only equips employees with the latest defence strategies but also instils a security-conscious culture within the organisation, enhancing overall resilience against cyber threats.



How can you pursue a career in IT or cyber security?

Embarking on a career in IT or Cyber Security requires a blend of education, specialised certifications, practical experience, and networking opportunities. Individuals aspiring to enter these fields must focus on acquiring relevant skills and expertise to excel in the technology sector.

One key step in pursuing a successful career in technology is to obtain a strong educational foundation. This can involve earning a degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field.

Pursuing specialised certifications such as CompTIA Security+, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), or Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) can enhance your skills and marketability in the industry.

Practical experience through internships, entry-level positions, or volunteering for tech-related projects can also provide valuable hands-on learning opportunities.

Networking with professionals in the field through industry events, online forums, and mentorship programmes can help individuals establish connections and stay updated on industry trends.

Education and training

Education and training serve as foundational pillars for a successful career in IT or Cyber Security. Individuals should focus on acquiring relevant qualifications, undergoing security awareness training, and exploring opportunities in security compliance and consulting to enhance their expertise.

By investing in continuous learning and staying updated with the latest trends and technologies in the field, professionals in IT or Cyber Security can adapt to the constantly evolving landscape.

Security awareness training plays a crucial role in instilling best practices and protocols for safeguarding digital assets.

Having a strong foundation in compliance knowledge equips individuals with the necessary skills to navigate regulatory requirements efficiently.

Pursuing roles in security consulting allows for applying theoretical knowledge and provides hands-on experience in solving complex security challenges.

Certifications and specializations

Obtaining industry-recognised certifications and specialising in key areas such as security operations, infrastructure management, and compliance guidelines can significantly boost career prospects in IT or Cyber Security. Individuals should pursue advanced certifications to demonstrate expertise and proficiency in their chosen specialisation.

By achieving specialised certifications in security operations, professionals can gain the in-depth knowledge and skills required to monitor and respond effectively to security incidents.

Infrastructure management certifications provide the necessary expertise to design and manage complex network architectures, ensuring efficient and secure IT operations.

Certifications related to compliance guidelines demonstrate a commitment to upholding industry standards and best practices and showcase a dedication to ensuring data privacy and security.

These certifications not only validate one's skills but also enhance professional credibility, opening doors to new opportunities and career advancement in the competitive field of IT and Cyber Security.

Experience and networking

Gaining hands-on experience and building a professional network are essential components of a successful career in IT or Cyber Security. Individuals should focus on acquiring practical experience in security planning, monitoring, and implementations while networking with industry professionals to expand their career opportunities.

Through hands-on experience, individuals have the chance to apply theoretical knowledge into real-world scenarios, honing their skills in identifying security threats and effectively implementing measures to mitigate risks. This practical exposure not only enhances their problem-solving abilities but also boosts their confidence in handling complex security challenges.

In parallel, establishing a strong professional network opens up avenues for collaboration, mentorship, and potential job opportunities. Leveraging networking events, online platforms, and industry conferences can lead to valuable connections in the field, providing insights, guidance, and support along the career journey.


This article's just a snippet—get the full information security picture with DataGuard

A digital ISMS is where you begin if you want a bullet-proof setup. It's a base for all your future information security activities.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between IT and cyber security?

IT, or Information Technology, refers to the management and use of technology to process, store, and transmit information. Cyber security, on the other hand, is focused on protecting this information from unauthorized access, use, or disruption.

How are IT and cyber security related?

IT and cyber security are closely related as cyber security is a subset of IT. IT encompasses a wide range of technologies, while cyber security specifically focuses on protecting these technologies from cyber threats.

What are the primary objectives of IT and cyber security?

The primary objective of IT is to ensure the efficient and effective use of technology to support business operations. On the other hand, the main goal of cyber security is to protect information and systems from cyber attacks, data breaches, and other threats.

What skills are required for a career in IT?

A career in IT typically requires skills such as programming, database management, network administration, and system analysis. Additionally, strong problem-solving, communication, and project management skills are also important.

What skills are necessary for a career in cyber security?

A career in cyber security requires skills such as knowledge of computer networks, security protocols, risk assessment, and incident response. Strong technical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to think critically and analytically are also crucial.

Can someone work in both IT and cyber security?

Yes, it is possible for someone to work in both IT and cyber security. Many IT professionals may have some responsibilities in cyber security, and some may even have a specific role or title in cyber security. However, it is important to note that cyber security is a specialised field and may require additional training and certifications.

About the author

DataGuard Insights DataGuard Insights
DataGuard Insights

DataGuard Insights provides expert analysis and practical advice on security and compliance issues facing IT, marketing and legal professionals across a range of industries and organisations. It acts as a central hub for understanding the intricacies of the regulatory landscape, providing insights that help executives make informed decisions. By focusing on the latest trends and developments, DataGuard Insights equips professionals with the information they need to navigate the complexities of their field, ensuring they stay informed and ahead of the curve.

Explore more articles

Contact Sales

See what DataGuard can do for you.

Find out how our Privacy, InfoSec and Compliance solutions can help you boost trust, reduce risks and drive revenue.

  • 100% success in ISO 27001 audits to date 
  • 40% total cost of ownership (TCO) reduction
  • A scalable easy-to-use web-based platform
  • Actionable business advice from in-house experts

Trusted by customers

Canon  Logo Contact Hyatt Logo Contact Holiday Inn  Logo Contact Unicef  Logo Contact Veganz Logo Contact Burger King  Logo Contact First Group Logo Contact TOCA Social Logo Contact Arri Logo Contact K Line  Logo Contact

Get to know DataGuard

Simplify compliance

  • External data protection officer
  • Audit of your privacy status-quo
  • Ongoing GDPR support from a industry experts
  • Automate repetitive privacy tasks
  • Priority support during breaches and emergencies
  • Get a defensible GDPR position - fast!

Trusted by customers

Canon  Logo Contact Hyatt Logo Contact Holiday Inn  Logo Contact Unicef  Logo Contact Veganz Logo Contact Burger King  Logo Contact First Group Logo Contact TOCA Social Logo Contact Arri Logo Contact K Line  Logo Contact

Get to know DataGuard

Simplify compliance

  • Continuous support on your journey towards the certifications on ISO 27001 and TISAX®️, as well as NIS2 Compliance.
  • Benefit from 1:1 consulting
  • Set up an easy-to-use ISMS with our Info-Sec platform
  • Automatically generate mandatory policies

100% success in ISO 27001 audits to date



TISAX® is a registered trademark of the ENX Association. DataGuard is not affiliated with the ENX Association. We provide consultation and support for the assessment on TISAX® only. The ENX Association does not take any responsibility for any content shown on DataGuard's website.

Trusted by customers

Canon  Logo Contact Hyatt Logo Contact Holiday Inn  Logo Contact Unicef  Logo Contact Veganz Logo Contact Burger King  Logo Contact First Group Logo Contact TOCA Social Logo Contact Arri Logo Contact K Line  Logo Contact

Get to know DataGuard

Simplify compliance

  • Proactive support
  • Create essential documents and policies
  • Staff compliance training
  • Advice from industry experts

Trusted by customers

Canon  Logo Contact Hyatt Logo Contact Holiday Inn  Logo Contact Unicef  Logo Contact Veganz Logo Contact Burger King  Logo Contact First Group Logo Contact TOCA Social Logo Contact Arri Logo Contact K Line  Logo Contact

Get to know DataGuard

Simplify compliance

  • Comply with the EU Whistleblowing Directive
  • Centralised digital whistleblowing system
  • Fast implementation
  • Guidance from compliance experts
  • Transparent reporting

Trusted by customers

Canon  Logo Contact Hyatt Logo Contact Holiday Inn  Logo Contact Unicef  Logo Contact Veganz Logo Contact Burger King  Logo Contact First Group Logo Contact TOCA Social Logo Contact Arri Logo Contact K Line  Logo Contact

Let's talk