Cyber Security vs Network Security – What’s the Difference? (Explained)

Cyber Security vs Network Security – What’s the Difference? (Explained with Examples). With the daily explosion in the numbers of internet users, data breaches and cyber attacks are now common. Hackers are always looking for weaknesses in the internet connected systems to exploit them.  For this reason, there is a growing need for information and data security.

If you’re new to the tech industry, the chances that you’ll find cyber security and network security confusing are high. That is why I’ve provided a detailed guide to the differences between the two terms. Read on to find out!

Let’s start with Cyber Security vs Network Security – What’s the Difference? (Explained with Examples).

What Is Cyber Security?

With Cyber security is safeguarding data, computers, mobile devices, servers, networks and other electronic systems from malicious threats and attacks. It is the practice whereby individuals and organizations safeguard computerized systems like data centers from unauthorized access.

Examples of Cyber Security

Application security

A set of practices and processes used to protect applications from cyber attacks and security vulnerabilities. Application security includes security measures carried out throughout an application’s software development life cycle (SLDC).

Online Authentication

Online authentication refers to the process of verifying identity on an informatics system to provide access to a platform. This verification is carried out through a username and a password.

Data Encryption

Data encryption is the translation of data from one form into another to provide access to people with a secret key. This key is called a decryption key and anyone with access to it can read the encrypted data.

Cloud security

Cloud security refers to controls, policies, and applications used for securing cloud computing systems, data and infrastructure. It encompasses keeping cloud data safe and private, supporting regulatory compliance and protecting customers’ privacy.


Sandboxing is a practice in cybersecurity where you make use of an isolated environment called a sandbox to carry out testing. You can execute a suspicious program, test a code, and so on without harming your system. 

Secure Testing and Coding

Secure testing is software testing that examines hazards, vulnerabilities and dangers in a software program and protects the software from intruder attacks. The goal is to find potential weaknesses in a software system that can cause data loss, income loss, or loss of reputation from internal workers or external hackers. Secure coding is the practice of providing security to software through coding and encryption to prevent cyber attacks.

What Is Network Security?

With network security refers to the mechanisms that protect a company’s network and data from intrusions, breaches, and other threats. It involves the software and hardware solutions related to network accessibility, use, and overall protection from threats. It incorporates hardware and software technology to protect computer networks’ accessibility, confidentiality, and integrity.

Examples of Network Security

Access Control

Access Control is a security method where you regulate or limit what or who can access, view, or use resources in a computer system. It helps to decrease the risk to an organization or business.

VPN Encryption

VPN Encryption is the process of preventing attempts from outsiders to read, intercept, block, alter, or substitute contents of your internet connections. Through encryption, the virtual private network conceals the entire data that passes between the web servers and your computer.


Firewalls are network security devices that monitor outgoing and incoming traffic, permitting or blocking data packets through a set of security rules. It provides a barrier between oncoming traffic, your internal network and external sources like the internet. This prevents malicious traffic like hackers and viruses.

Network Segmentation

Network segmentation is the architectural approach of separating a network into several segments or subnets whereby each segment functions as a small network of its own. This way, network administrators can control traffic flow between the subnets using granular policies. Organizations and companies employ network segmentation to boost performance, improve monitoring, localize technical issues and improve security. 

Difference Between Cyber Security and Network Security

It’s not uncommon to find network security and cyber security used interchangeably to protect sensitive information or data. However, the terms have distinct differences. Let’s look at them.


Cyber Security

Firstly Cyber security is that branch of information security that attempts to secure an organization’s data, devices, programs, and systems from unauthorized access, damage, misuse, or attack. It is majorly concerned with protecting electronic data.

It’s that defense mechanism that safeguards the data and devices of a company. It is an additional layer of security that protects the organization’s data from potential cybercrime, such as malicious attacks.

Network Security

But the network security is that part of cyber security that protects a company’s data in a computer network from unauthorized access and misuse. It secures the integrity of the network and data of an organization from unauthorized access using both hardware and software systems.

The data it secures passes across and through an organization’s network. Therefore, it keeps the data from bad employees who want to view sensitive information that they lack authorization to. In addition Network security aims to provide confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility of the company’s network and data.


Cyber Security

Moreover cyber security secures all of a company’s digital data residing in servers and devices from all cyber attacks. It protects resting data.

Network Security

Where with network security it offers more protection to the network transmission than data. Protects the network and the transmitted data  like passwords and IDs, firewalls, encryption, and backups.

Role of Professionals

Cyber Security

Here the cyber security experts deal with detecting, responding and recovering all cyber attacks. They defend and safeguard an organization’s system and devices. Some of these experts are ethical hackers that scrutinize a company’s security system to detect weaknesses in networks, systems, or infrastructure that cyber attackers can exploit. 

Network Security

On the other hand network security professionals function mainly to leverage tools that will prevent potential online attacks. They analyse the vulnerabilities and risks in a company’s network. Their main focus is to protect the organization’s IT structure. 

Additionally, they manage the firewalls, passwords, and encryption. Also Network security experts protect financial information, information assets, and other confidential information.

Popular Job Titles and Roles

Cyber Security

Some popular job titles in the cyber security space include cyber security analyst and cyber security architect. The job description of a cyber security professional is a specialist in the detection, protection, and recovery of security threats from cyberspace.

Network Security

The popular job titles include network security architect and network security engineer. A network security specialist’s job description is to protect a firm’s IT infrastructure.

Educational Requirements

Cyber Security

Most companies require that you have at least a bachelor’s degree in cyber security or a related field like computer science, computer engineering, or information technology for entry-level work. For higher positions, a master’s degree is usually preferred. 

Network Security

Some companies accept associate degrees for entry-level work in network security. In this case, certificate classes would be an added bonus.

Security Features

Cyber Security

Additionally cyber security protects a company’s data, devices  and systems from all digital or cyber attacks such as pretexting, phishing, baiting, and social engineering. It defends the network, updated information and application. Moreover it secures the organization’s data from external threats in cyberspace. 

Network Security

By the same token network security protects data that is transmitted through network terminals. It secures a company’s IT infrastructure from online and network related attacks.

Additionally network security protects the accessibility and confidentiality of networks and data mainly from internal threats like malicious employees. It protects passwords and ID, firewalls, internet access, and backups. It deals with safeguarding the network from viruses, Denial of Service (DOS) attacks, and worms. Network security also strikes against trojans.

That’s it. Cyber Security vs Network Security – What’s the Difference? (Explained with Examples).

Cyber Security vs Network Security - What's the Difference? Conclusion

Both cyber security and network security are important components of the tech industry. Any firm that deals with internet-connected data needs to invest heavily in both defence systems.

While cyber security protects organizational computer systems and data from malicious attacks by hackers, network security on the other hand protects transmitted data from external and internal attacks.

Therefore, even though both concepts are closely linked, the differences stand out. Every internet based organization needs to invest strongly in both security systems to prevent information breaches and other malicious attacks.

Avatar for Kamso Oguejiofor
Kamso Oguejiofor

Kamso is a mechanical engineer and writer with a strong interest in anything related to technology. He has over 2 years of experience writing on topics like cyber security, network security, and information security. When he’s not studying or writing, he likes to play basketball, work out, and binge watch anime and drama series.

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