Information security is the practice of keeping data protected from theft, destruction, or misuse. It's different from cybersecurity in that cybersecurity refers to protecting physical computer assets, while information security concerns defending data from hackers. The practices of information security protect data from accidental breaches, unauthorized access, and malicious attacks. Whether you're storing your data or transmitting it from one place to another, information security keeps your data safe. The term "data" includes printed media as well as electronic information, and information security practices protect your data whether or not it's confidential.
Our world has become increasingly dependent on data, and malicious people want to get their hands on information, which makes information security vital to our modern society. Piracy, identity theft, and intellectual property crimes are on the rise every year, so the demand for people and software that protects data continues to grow. Data breaches cost money and can damage reputations, so keeping information protected can prevent catastrophic problems. A working knowledge of information security is crucial if you're interested in a career in information technology.
You can apply your knowledge of information security in a vast array of industries. Companies all over the country are looking for information technology specialists to help keep their sensitive and proprietary data safe, and jobs are available in the finance, healthcare, government, law enforcement, and insurance sectors, as well as in other areas. Cybersecurity and information technology companies are also hiring, and these businesses work with various clients to protect data from hackers and other attacks. You may even be able to start your own business in information security.
Learning information security with online courses on Coursera allows you to gain a foothold in this growing field. You can gain firsthand experience in the issues that drive the information security industry, as well as the methods that data professionals use to combat hackers and data pirates. Opportunities exist to work toward becoming an IBM cybersecurity analyst, learn about cryptography, and understand regulatory compliance.