We need more (security) fixers!

This past few years, interest and budgets for ethical hackers and pentesters has grown rapidly. They gain more and more visibility (see the Belgian Cyber Security Challenge or the European Cyber Security Challenge). More important, consulting companies are recruiting young and talented hackers by the dozen those last years.

During the last decade, lot of (nor to say most) TV shows and even novels have included or even starred a hacker:

  • Lisbeth Salander in Millenium,
  • Harold Finch in Person of Interest,
  • Felicity Smoak in Arrow,
  • Elliot Alderson in Mr Robot,
  • Skye in Marvell’s Agent of Shields,
  • Christopher Pelant in Bones,
  • Penelope Garcia in Criminal Minds,
  • Luther Stickell in Mission Impossible,
  • and the list goes on.

Nowadays, being an (ethical) hacker is sexy, trendy and well paid. It’s no surprise that a lot of young graduates want to embrace this professional career. As such, it is a good thing as we need more skilled and talented professionals in cyber Security.

However, it might be a bit short sighted as Artificial Intelligence’s powered automated hacking systems are on our doorstep (see DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge and other AI powered systems in the links at the bottom of this post).

Nevertheless, that’s not really my point here. With all these young genius at work uncovering our weaknesses, we still don’t have enough talented people to fix the issues.

WE NEED MORE FIXERS!

When I talk about fixers, I don’t only mean people skilled enough to fix the vulnerabilities discovered by our code breakers but also people able to fix governance, processes, organization and people. We need professional who can make effective security awareness (meaning that will make people change their behaviour), people who can implement a flawless IT & security governance. People able to define processes preventing attacks by design. People able to define new strategies and able to implement them (or at least to make people implement them). Person who can understand in which detail the devil is hidden. Hackers just need to find one vulnerability, we have to fix them all. It is less sexy, even more complicated and there is not enough people who wants to fix the problems… but we clearly need more. So, young geniuses, when you’ll be bored of breaking things, please come to the light side and help us fix this mess.

 

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