Tweetchat roundup: Is Pop Culture Making Cybersecurity Sexy?

February 9, 2016 | Javvad Malik
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If pop culture is to be believed, cybersecurity is hot property. Hacks and breaches not only dominate the real-world media but can be seen everywhere in TV and in the movies. These are popping up as plot devices, like in Homeland, or the focus of shows like CSI Cyber and Mr. Robot.

But what do industry professionals think of this? We took to Twitter in our first Tweetchat of 2016 to find out.

Q1: Is the increased focus on IT Security in pop culture positive for the industry?

There are good and bad sides to increased focus. Quentyn got things rolling by stating it was a good thing.

David Longenecker also agreed it was a good thing.

But not everyone was of the same opinion. Dr. Krypt3ia likened the increased visibility in pop culture with that of the CSI effect.

But he didn’t stop there, criticizing the actors from CSI Cyber keynoting at the upcoming RSA. This was a sentiment that Martin Fisher shared.

Adrian Sanabria went against the grain with his opinion:

Q2: What’s your favorite from the recent crop of security-themed movies / TV shows & why?

Q3: Which movie / show do you think has the most accurate depiction of security / hacking?

Questions 2 and 3 ended up grouped together in their responses as often the show which people believed had the most accurate depiction of security and hacking was often their favourite.

There were some outliers, but the majority agreed Mr. Robot had the best depiction of security in a show.

Q4: What’s the worst hacking scene ever depicted in a movie or TV show?

With so many contenders for bad hacking illustrated in movies such as Swordfish, Die Hard 4.0 or Blackhat, we were expecting a near infinite list of examples – and the variety of things that bug viewers is not small.

However, head and shoulders above the rest, one particular scene from NCIS depicting two people using one keyboard to stop hackers earned the dubious honour of being the worst hacking scene depicted on TV.

Q5: Do you think movies / TV shows wrongly glamorize ‘blackhat’ hacking?

On one hand, creative licensing is to be expected from Hollywood. But do they go too far in their portrayal of blackhat hacking?

Q6: Which actor would play you in a movie about YOUR security life?

We asked what actor people would like to see play them in the IT Security movie adaptation of their life. Most participants ended up recommending actors for each other.

Q7: Which security / hacking film has had an influence on you & why?

Next up, we asked which movies or shows had the biggest impact on Security Professionals when they were young and trying to decide what they wanted to be when they were grown up.

Q8: have you seen people take security more seriously as a result of a movie / TV show?

Finally we sought to get some insight into whether or not the attitudes of those around us had changed as a result of more hackery being displayed in pop culture.

The results varied. Interestingly one person has been asked to hack personal information.

Others experienced a change on a more corporate level.

For some, it was more about a change in perception towards who a hacker is.

Davi Ottenheimer highlighted a more profound impact that pop culture hacking has had by way of influencing governments and policies.

With that our hour was up. It was an enjoyable and educational tweet chat held at a frantic pace. Luckily, we were able to keep up with the tweets by getting sharing one keyboard between two people!

Join us again for another tweet chat in the future and thank you for your participation.

Javvad Malik

About the Author: Javvad Malik

The man, the myth, the blogger; Javvad Malik is a London-based IT Security professional. Better known as an active blogger, event speaker and industry commentator who is possibly best known as one of the industry’s most prolific video bloggers with his signature fresh and light-hearted perspective on security. Prior to joining AlienVault, Javvad was a senior analyst with 451 Research providing technology vendors, investors and end users with strategic advisory services, including competitive research and go-to-market positioning.

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