Surprisingly, such a simple word has a very complex set of definitions. Depending who you ask (or which link you click when you google it) you may learn that cybersecurity is network security, or that cybersecurity is about protecting data, or cybersecurity is securing devices from hackers.

The truth is, cybersecurity isn’t just one of those things—it’s all of those things, and more.

Cybersecurity is a complex combination of technologies, processes, and techniques that work to protect devices, systems, networks, and data from damage, loss, and malicious attacks.

Does that clear things up? Maybe not.

Let’s break it down:
Cybersecurity is a preventative practice, just like regular security. It’s something that can be achieved through processes and technologies, and it can be measured. (Think: lock & key versus door codes and security cameras.)
Just like physical security, cybersecurity is not a “one size fits all” solution. Achieving the optimal level of security depends on each environment. For example, while the White House requires a full security team, infrared scanners, barriers, bulletproof glass, and so on, your house could be considered secure with only locked doors and an alarm system. Cybersecurity works in similar ways: certain environments require specific levels of security in order to be fully protected against threats.

Finally, cybersecurity is bigger than just “devices.” While it starts with actions as simple as locking computers and installing software, it extends beyond just those practices. Cybersecurity combines the security of individual devices with the security of networks, digital data, and physical assets.

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