Debating between cyber security vs. network security? Read on as I discuss each field to help you determine what’s right for you!
Is Network Security and Cyber Security the Same?
The short answer is no. While they’re both important, they aren’t the same thing; there’s a lot more to it than that.
However, that doesn’t mean there’s no overlap between the two fields; both have a significant amount of study dedicated to networks and network security principles.
We’ll explain a bit of each field below.
What is Cyber Security and Why You Should Do It!
What is cyber security:
It’s important to understand that cyber security isn’t just one thing; it’s a holistic approach to “electronic” security.
There are various cyber security domains that implement a broad collection of tools, policies, and actions which are brought together to protect an IT infrastructure and its data from attack, damage or unauthorized access by individuals and organizations such as:
Application Security: The practice of ensuring that applications are free from vulnerabilities, and that they are developed with appropriate security controls.
Enterprise Risk Management: Is a set of activities designed to identify, assess, and manage risk to an organization’s assets or operations.
Governance: The set of processes used to establish common objectives, decision-making rules, and security operating procedures among various parties to achieve effective coordination among them.
Physical Security: The protection of people and property from physical harm or theft.
Security Architecture: Describes the technical aspects of designing a system’s security capabilities. It includes design choices like authentication mechanisms (e.g., passwords), access control policies (e.g., which users have access to what data), audit trails (e.g., logs of user actions), etc.
Security Framework & Standards: The standards an organization should use when designing and implementing its security architecture.
Security Operations: The process by which an organization monitors its systems for changes that may indicate a security breach, and its ability to mitigate them.
Risk Assessment: Risk Assessment is the process of determining the likelihood that an event will occur and the impact it will have on the organization if it does occur. The goal of risk assessment is to identify risks before they have a chance to materialize into something that could seriously disrupt business operations.
Threat Intelligence: Information about threats—such as malware—that can be used to protect against future security breaches. With threat intelligence, organizations can better defend themselves against attackers who exploit vulnerabilities in their software or hardware products.
Why should you consider a career in cyber security:
Cyber security is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world; according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs in the industry will grow by 33% between 2020 and 2030, making it “much faster than the average for all occupations.”
Even better, if you’ve never considered yourself a “computer person,” rest assured, there are many different roles within this field that don’t require technical skills or previous experience working on computers.
For example, the role of cyber security analyst only needs a basic understanding of how computers operate but aren’t necessarily required to know how to code; the rest can be taught!
And if you’re looking for a job right away, there are plenty of available cybersecurity positions that don’t require a degree.
What’s the Salary for Cyber Security Jobs?
According to PayScale the average salary for a cyber security engineer ranges between $68k to $139k averaging to about $98k.
For a cyber security analyst position, the salary ranges between $54k to $116k and averages about $74k.
What is Network Security and Why You Should Do It?
What is network security:
As networks become increasingly complex, there’s also an increased chance of vulnerabilities being unintentionally introduced into the network.
Therefore, network security refers to the security practices implemented and security measures that are deployed to protect the network infrastructure, including the servers and systems containing sensitive data, against security breach.
As a security measure, any access to your network that could potentially cause harm must be monitored, detected, and identified by network security measures. Such measures include firewalls, routers, Intrusion Prevention and Detection System, and other network monitoring tools.
Why should you consider a career in network security:
Luckily, we’re not going back into the dark ages before the internet anytime soon, meaning networks and network security are here to stay for a long time.
Sure, it might change a bit, but I would venture to say that network security is one of those careers that’ll be around for decades to come.
The demand for these experts is high and the opportunities for growth are vast, making it a good time to get into the industry.
What’s the Salary for Network Security Jobs?
According to PayScale the average salary for a network security engineer ranges between $61k to $132k averaging to about $93k.
What is the Difference Between Network Security and Cyber Security?
The two terms can be used interchangeably in some situations, but it’s important to understand the core difference.
Cyber security is broader in perspective and involves multiple technologies and strategies aimed at protecting all aspects of the infrastructure from cyber threats; on the other hand, network security is a subset of cyber security that’s more heavily focused on network engineering principles and specifically refers to protecting the network infrastructure.
Therefore, network security should be considered as part of an overall strategy rather than as an isolated issue on its own.
Which Is Better Cyber Security or Network Security?
It really depends on what factors you consider better.
Salary: Although, there might be situations where the reverse is true, cyber security is the clear winner. You can expect to earn an average of $14k more annually.
Education: Two is better than one. Because of the heavy overlap in coursework, you may be able to get two degrees for just a couple extra semesters. Start with a cyber security degree as it’ll give you a general feel for the industry, then take additional networking related courses if you’re ready to move in that direction.
Job Stability: Both are equally stable and aren’t going away anytime in the foreseeable future.
Job Opportunity: Network security is a widely available job position so if you’re interested in the technical route, then network security is a better option. However, if you want more career opportunities, then cyber security should be your goal because it’s wider in job scope.
Job Growth: The growth prospective for both fields are good, but the higher up you go, the more competitive it becomes. This means you need to become an expert in enterprise-wide security policies and processes and must have excellent people and business/management skills. This is especially true of cyber security managers and directors!
Job Stress: This is the one factor many don’t consider when considering cyber security vs. network security. Because cyber security professionals are unfortunately expected to have knowledge of everything cyber-related, and because of the limited personnel that security departments are provided (making for long work hours), cyber security personnel burn out rather quickly versus their network security counterparts.
Ultimately, what you consider better is dependent on what factors you consider to be important.