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5 Types Of Cybersecurity: How Do They Differ From One Another?

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

Cybercrime is continuously on the rise, ever more so even when technology is advancing rapidly.

In fact, a Clark School study states that every 39 seconds, there is a cyber-attack. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercriminals saw more opportunities, with the FBI reporting an increase of 300% in cybercrime cases.

With cybercrimes on sky-high constantly, cybersecurity has become all the more important for individuals and likewise businesses, and hence comes the need to be well-equipped with what cybersecurity is, and what the different types entail.

Read on to understand what the five types of cybersecurity mean as we delve further into each definition.

1. Critical infrastructure security

Critical infrastructure security prioritizes safeguarding cyber-physical networks, assets, and systems that modern societies depend on. Given the importance of these essential infrastructures to everyone’s safety and well-being and how they maintain the status quo, their security and resilience are paramount.

Organizations responsible for securing critical infrastructure must continuously learn and understand the vulnerabilities associated with it and its systems and develop a plan to prevent disruptive incidents.

This cybersecurity type is critical because it can disrupt significant networks, such as financial services, utilities, and transportation systems. Usually, to counter these threats, the government would devise methods to better measure, monitor, and investigate the cybersecurity risks and the companies with critical infrastructure.

Even if the threats that attack the critical infrastructure are usually government-level, it will be best if businesses can also implement their own measures. This is because they also rely on critical infrastructure for their operations. Alternatively, they can evaluate the situation and determine how it may affect them, coming up with solutions to mitigate the issue.

2. Application security

Application security protects software application data and code against breaches and cyber threats. It entails hardware and software methods to combat external threats that may arise during an application’s development stage, including the initial design and deployment phases.

Since software applications are more accessible over a network, it is vital to immediately implement security procedures, standards, tools, and systems to protect applications throughout the development cycle.

One thing about developing application security is you should put yourself into a security-focused mindset. The fundamentals of application security are in the first lines of code you write. By entering a perspective focused on security, you can ensure that you are developing an app or writing a code that will protect your network from cyber threats.

Even if you have a dedicated security team or professional, it’s best to put the primary responsibility on the engineers writing the code and focus on the security aspect of the app from the beginning. After all, this is what will unauthorized access to applications and preserve sensitive data via specific application security processes.

3. Network security

Network security is a type of cybersecurity that mainly concerns itself with outside threats. Hence, it protects organizations from unauthorized intrusions with malicious intent into their internal networks by safeguarding their infrastructure and restricting access.

This cybersecurity type is one of the most essential aspects for businesses, whether big or small. This particularly applies if your business works over the internet, LAN, or another method.

While coming up with a network immune to attacks is not feasible, a stable and efficient network security system is still needed to protect client data adequately. After all, it can help lower any data theft or sabotage risk in your network.

A network security infrastructure can provide multiple levels of protection to prevent MitM (Man in the middle) attacks, which break down information into many parts and encrypt them. The encrypted parts are then transmitted through separate paths to prevent any eavesdropping attempts.

4. Cloud security

Among the main reasons for the rapid adoption of cloud technology is improved systems, which is what cloud security works to protect.

This cybersecurity software-based security protects and monitors data in a business’s cloud resources. Cloud providers constantly create and implement new security tools to help their enterprise clients better secure their data.

A common myth surrounding cloud computing is that it is not as secure compared to traditional approaches, with many people believing that data is more secure when it is located on physical servers and systems under your complete control and ownership.

However, cloud security has proven that control does not mean accessibility and security – and it’s more than just the physical location of data.

According to the 2021 Gartner CIO Survey, 64% of workers can now work from home, and 2/5 of them actually do so. What was previously just accessible to executives, senior personnel, and sales is now prevalent. Over 75% of knowledge workers foresee hybrid work arrangements, making the shift to hybrid (or remote work) a long-lasting trend.

What makes cloud security important is that it can help manage remote work. When it comes to working from home, some employees may not adhere to the recommended advice when using public internet, which puts the data they can access at security risk and vulnerable to malware and phishing.

Cloud security can prevent this from happening and scale with the organization as it grows and saves the security to where it’s needed instead of just operating at the base. Some examples may include users, devices, apps, and data.

As such, cloud computing security is not all that different to conventional on-premise data centers – it ensures lower risk of breaches and has the ability to maintain huge data facilities.

5. Internet of Things (IoT) security

IoT devices include various non-critical and critical cyber-physical systems, such as security cameras, printers, Wi-Fi routers, televisions, sensors, and appliances. Thus, IoT security protects these internet-enabled devices and the networks they connect to from breaches and cyber threats.

This type of cybersecurity protects, identifies, and monitors risks while simultaneously fixing vulnerabilities on devices that may lead to security risks to an organization. For IoT objects to work effectively - hardware, software, and connectivity must be secure. IoT is still growing, and a security flaw means that hackers can use the IoT as a playground and gain access to a home network.

Should this IoT security be missing, any connected objects, even appliances like refrigerators, are open to hackers. If hackers gain control, they can tamper with the functionality of the objects and access the user’s digital data. IoT being breached is dangerous because the attackers can even hack the home security system without the victim knowing it.

One should implement active security measures in the software to mitigate some of these threats. For instance, you should use a password for protection when accessing software like Wi-Fi. Never let IoT devices independently initiate network connections because critical data can be leaked if firewalls do not protect programs or restricted use is not implemented.


Cybersecurity focuses on protecting electronic assets, including the internet, LAN, and WAN resources used to transmit and store that information. The defining difference between the various types of cybersecurity mainly revolves around the different assets they focus on protecting, from critical infrastructures to IoT devices.

To get started with the necessary cybersecurity solutions to protect your business’s bottom line and reputation, contact the experts at SEMNet today and learn more about our cybersecurity services, including cloud security, vulnerability management, DDoS protection, AI email security, and phishing simulation services, the latter which could train employees into being more efficient in cybersecurity.

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