Learn English – Which form would be correct: cyber security, cyber-security or cybersecurity


I want to stop changing my mind, I've used all three of the forms cyber security, cyber-security or cybersecurity at different times. There have been previous discussions on this (e.g. here and here) and I'm looking for a reasoned recommendation. I know there is never a simple answer in language due to the constant evolution of speech, but a reasoned consensus should be possible. Don't waste time on what cyber means, concentrate of the usage form. Why not the cybersecurity form, common in the America's, yet tagged as a misspelled in my UK version of Microsoft Word. The cyber security form is common in Europe yet I come across many documents in which both versions, and all three versions are used interchangeably. My preference would be to use the hyphen form to strengthen the specific computer/software related version of security. The single word form seems incorrect since I can think of no other security word without a hyphenated prefix (self-security is a rare hyphenated example). Other types of security are separated words, e.g. information security, financial security, physical security. Usage without the hyphen makes sense in other forms, e.g. cyberphobia. Let's see the consensus :)

Best Answer

Where different forms of a word exist and especially where they differ in different countries, and where your audience is international, it is probably worth choosing one and sticking to it, and mentioning the other two terms in a small note or addendum, if it's in a written document or report.

At least if you are consistent, it looks less messy and you can more easily do a 'global replace' later if it finally changes to one or the other.

So I don't think there is a 'right answer' at this point - it's just 'how you deal with it - without driving yourself crackers!