What is the difference between Cyber Security and Digital Security? They sound very similar (same) to me, But my university course slides said:

current techniques of Machine Learning can provide Digital Security, but not Cyber Security.

So what is the difference?

  • 1
    Its simply slides of a course at university. Maybe it is relevant that in another bullet point, it says "in 86% cases of breaches in Verizon, evidence was in logs". Maybe it suggests that digital security is available because samples are accessible. But somehow this is not the case for cyber security. Its as brief as that.
    – Makan
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 14:01
  • 15
    Since "cyber" pretty much means exactly the same thing as "digital", you might want to ask whoever came up with these bull** terms to actually define them and their respective definitions.
    – AviD
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 14:12

3 Answers 3


"Cyber" is a very frequently misused buzzword people like to throw around because it sounds futuristic and cool. What many people mean when they use the word is "computer-related".

What it actually means is the short form of Cybernetic: The integration of human and technology.

What the quote could mean (you are not providing context) is that machine learning can help for security problems in machine-machine interaction (digital) but not human-machine interaction (cybernetic). For example, you can already use machine learning to teach a program to automatically detect an automated brute force attack on a login form, but you can't yet teach it to automatically detect a phishing attempt. (I am not claiming this is right or wrong, just that it might be what the author wants to say)


Generally speaking, Digital Security is limited to only data or bit-type assets. Cyber Security on the other hand has many domains (the (ISC)2 defines 8 domains for the CISSP) and includes things like operational or business security. This can include things under the "security" structure that have nothing at all to do with Digital Security, such as insurance.


below is from OECD - Why “digital security” instead of “cybersecurity”?

Digital security refers to the economic and social aspects of cybersecurity, as opposed to purely technical aspects and those related to criminal law enforcement or national and international security. The term “digital” is consistent with expressions such as digital economy, digital transformation and digital technologies. It forms a basis for constructive international dialogue between stakeholders seeking to foster trust and maximise opportunities from ICTs.

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