“Cybersecurity” and “cyber security” are getting more and more mixed usage lately, so much that they are becoming almost as ambiguous as the term “cloud” was a few years back.
The challenge information security executives and professionals are faced with is knowing ̶ as the title implies ̶ when and why the term should be used and how it should be presented, as a single word or two. While there isn’t any recognized authority on the subject per se, there are at least some credible sources providing guidance that can help those of us in the industry to decide on “when, why and how” to use the term.
First, let’s tackle the when and why; we’ll move onto the how later.
In June, Gartner acknowledged that there is confusion in the market over how the term should be used, prompting the firm to publish “Definition: Cybersecurity” (note, Gartner uses the single-word form). In it, analysts Andrew Walls, Earl Perkins and Juergen Weiss wrote that “Use of the term ‘cybersecurity’ as a synonym for information security or IT security confuses customers and security practitioners, and obscures critical differences between these disciplines.” To help set the record straight, the team defined the term