Although the fields are related and share some common goals, cyber security professionals and IT professionals focus on two different areas when it comes to technology. It is for this reason that organizations have separate roles for Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO or CSO).

The main focus of CIOs and IT is organizational productivity by ensuring that the information and technology people need to do their jobs are working as expected. The focus of CISOs and cyber security professionals is to protect that information and technology from unauthorized access.

To quote a 2021 article from ZDNet:

“Information technology focuses on the systems that store and transmit digital information. Cybersecurity, in contrast, focuses on protecting electronic information stored within those systems.”

To build an analogy, think of your family doctor (a “general practitioner” or “GP”). A GP has a broad spectrum of knowledge but because it’s so broad, it’s impossible to have deep knowledge in every area of healthcare, which is why specialists exist (pediatricians, dermatologists, cardiologists, ophthalmologists, etc.).

Using this analogy, a CIO would be akin to your family doctor and a CISO could be likened to an immunologist.

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