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Does Hollywood Have The Answer To The Security Skills Question?
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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
3/16/2015 | 12:26:43 AM
Re: But who would be intreated?
Sony may have an interest now...

On the other hand, Sony has been pwned so many times that maybe they don't.

And you're right.  Hackers = good movie plots.  Perfect security = no conflict.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
3/16/2015 | 12:25:01 AM
Re: But who would be intreated?
> Security is boring... learning security can be exciting, but everyone want to be the hacker, until they realize just how difficult that really is...

And this is one of the many problems with security in FOSS, and why the "many eyes" theory does not work.  People want to work on fun features -- not making sure that the damn thing is safe.
ODA155
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ODA155,
User Rank: Ninja
3/10/2015 | 5:32:14 PM
Re: But who would be intreated?
Security is boring... learning security can be exciting, but everyone want to be the hacker, until they realize just how difficult that really is... remember, in the movies in 2-3 hours you go from everything is loverly to hell-in a hand-basket to figuring it out to saving the world.
ODA155
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ODA155,
User Rank: Ninja
3/10/2015 | 5:27:23 PM
Re: The human wiring
"She had natural "wiring" in place that allowed her to have natural talent for playing the cello where I had only the interest."... or maybe she just wanted it more so she worked harder because she really wanted it. Along those lines, as I said before, I see people who are content with being where they are, they don't want to move up, and other don't realize how hard it is to get AND maintain those skills. Was your goal was to make second chair... why not first chair... too much pressure from being in that seat or pressure from the second's and third's who really wanted to be first? Everyone has "talent"... practice is what make you first chair not talent, and in the case of IT I would say it's knowledge and the ability to be flexible and not to take personal the decisions you do not agree with.

My experience in IT Security is... if you can't get leadership to do the right thing for securiy versus the right thing for business... just wait, and don't gloat.
TsionG
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TsionG,
User Rank: Author
3/10/2015 | 1:14:18 PM
Re: But who would be intreated?
No, movie studios do not have a stake in improving cybersecurity. My point was that the attention that Hollywood is now bringing to cyber may create more interest in STEM education as a natural follow on effect of the popularity of these films. It is still up to the government, our education system and the cybersecurity community to take the steps I outlined.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
3/10/2015 | 10:01:29 AM
Re: Or embellish
"The Imitation Game" as good as it was (and a long overdue tribute to Turing) took a few liberties with the truth in its Hollywood version of what actually happened. Here's one fact-checker's critique. But overall, I think the movie does raise the profile of the security professional for the general public and if it inspires the best and the brightest to make a career of it, all the better.

 

 
aws0513
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aws0513,
User Rank: Ninja
3/9/2015 | 11:45:39 AM
The human wiring
No doubt, there is a shortage of people with IT skills worldwide.
This shortage impacts the IT security sector as well... if not more so.

Over the years, I have learned something that may be a contributing factor toward the IT resources shortage.
I have met many people who wanted to get into IT as a career, to find out they just didn't make it as far as they had hoped.  For a time I wondered why only a limited number of my peers seemed to be moving up in their careers while a larger number were stagnant, or had left the technical side of IT altogether.

One day I had an epiphany moment.  I was attending a concert where there was a cellist solo that was exceptional.
I had played the cello from grade school all the way through high school.  I made it to second chair in my junior year through pure attrition.  I stuck around long enough to get that chair.
The girl in the first chair was in my grade and started playing the cello the same year I did.  We had the same instructors all the way through all of our schooling.  But there was a marked difference.  It was talent.
She played that cello as if it were like breathing.  She made the cello make music in a way that I could only dream.  I was mechanical in my playing.  I could read the music along with her, but she would make it sound almost perfect the first time, where I had to scrape at it a few times to get the music correct.

She had natural "wiring" in place that allowed her to have natural talent for playing the cello where I had only the interest.

In IT, I have seen this same model over and over again.  Many people who liked IT, but of those people I found that many did not have the talent or were not driven to spend the time necessary to pick up the skills necessary to be effective in an IT career.

Yes, most people have the capacity to learn IT skills, but few have the determination, and fewer still that have the natural talent.  (Funny thing is that I have also found a small number of people who didn't know they had the talent and only discovered it when I set them in a direction that deviated from their intended, self-driven course.  But those were few.)

For IT security, the problem is amplified by the very characteristics that make some people excel at IT.  IT has always been about problem solving.  Puzzles wrought into numbers and then pumped through logic designed to solve the puzzle efficiently and effectively.  For many aspects of IT security, this is great. 
But the people who are really good at IT security are the people who have developed the "soft skills" necessary to help implementation of IT security practices.  Unfortunatly, logic and human interaction are not exactly a perfect combination.  In logic puzzle solving, soft skills take a back seat to hard science.

It takes someone with natural talent or are very driven to find and negotiate reasonable solutions to IT security problems while mitigating impact on business operations.  I have met some very good "book smart" IT security professionals that couldn't GREP...  or even GROK...  a system log.  I have also met some very talented IT people that could write a program to get out of a paper bag, but put them in a conference room and they clam up or forget to bring the "tact filters" with them.

More and more I find the IT security field to be bordering on a skill set comparable to lawyers or accountants.  A highly skilled career that requires specific talent and training to excel.
Can we train more people in IT security vocations?  Certaintly.
Will those that we train in the IT security vocations do well in the field?  Depends on the person.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
3/8/2015 | 11:30:26 PM
Or embellish
There's also embellishment and flat-out lying about how the Internet and technology works -- which is very popular in Hollywood.  Remember that Sandra Bullock vehicle The Net 20 years ago?  Back then, it was ridiculous from a tech standpoint.

(Now?  Much, much less so.)
ODA155
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ODA155,
User Rank: Ninja
3/6/2015 | 7:42:43 PM
Re: But who would be intreated?
Of course it should take time to find and hire the right person and you should also expect to have competition for good people.

I think the so called "lack of numbers" is due to companies looking for people who have experience in "everything", so to speak, and when you do find them yes it will cost you. I think the larger problem is companies do not want to pay what a person is worth based on his\her experience but rather what Gartner or some internal HR guy thinks a skilled person may or should be worth. I also think that security has change so much since the early 2000's when outsourcing started and companies starting cutting staff and thus started the piling on of what a security person had to be responsible for and\or knowledgable. Add on to that compliance regulation... admistration of security systems... technical writing, it's very easy to be pigeon-holde or caught up into a single area. I know guys who are basically stuck as firewall admins because that's all they know because when they were trying to move on their companies threw more money at them to stay, they're making very good money doing that but what happens when the comapny want to hire someone younger... for them to train? I hear you and agree to a degree, but I believe that companies are making business decision when hiring instead of trying to hire the right person available. And even when you can get someone from another company, they still need to learn your company and that will take time, sometimes more than they may want to allow.

I was lucky in my career, when I retired from the military in 98', I went to Community College to learn network administration, which I did until 2003 when I moved into security and got my CISSP. I learned audit, got my CISA, I took as much training as I could get my company to pay for and as much as I could afford myself then when back to school to get my BA in IT and some other security certs, like CEH and Information Assurance (Security) Certificate. But I did that because I saw what was happening around me, not necessarily because I wanted to.

So maybe I am making your case for you somewhat but I do believe companies need to invest more in developing people and not just poaching from another company.

Thanks for your comment, have a good one.
ajones980
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ajones980,
User Rank: Strategist
3/6/2015 | 6:43:46 PM
Re: But who would be intreated?
I'm not sure anyone's questioning the level of skill of existing InfoSec professionals (though I could point to a few who need some upping in that regard) - the bigger problem by far is a lack of numbers of skilled professionals. Any time you look for skilled security professionals, it takes a long time to find them, and there is intense competition for hiring them.
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