While the wildly popular HBO series Game of Thrones can teach us a lot about politics, friendship and relations, few of us have likely considered it a source of information about cyber security. Nevertheless, Author Jack Shepherd of OneLogin found 3 important lessons to be found, which he detailed in a recent article.
Noting the analogous situations between the recent events of Game of Thrones and those in cybersecurity, Shepherd compares the horde of ice zombies marching on The Wall in Thrones to the horde of hackers and security threats lurking behind the (fire)walls of cyberspace. Tone thusly set, Shepherd dives into his main lessons.
First, he brings up zombie accounts. In Thrones, we see fallen soldiers transformed into zombies that attack unsuspecting defenders. In our world, ex-employee zombie accounts which were never shut down lead to risk. Security experts would be wise to follow Jon Snow’s advice in burning them out.
Secondly, we learn that we need to take even the potential of threat seriously. Shepherd makes another comparison, noting that the Lord Commander of the Watch is analogous to a CSO, whose warnings of impending danger are often foolishly ignored by the kings and queens (CEOs) of our world. As cyber security problems continue to arise, it is vital that leadership of companies take them seriously, and listen well to their own Lord Commanders.
Lastly, Shepherd shows us that everyone has a role to play in cyber security. Faced with a devastating threat in Thrones, Jon Snow orders all available forces to prepare for seige. He understands that defenses can be breached, people will need to respond, and that everyone is responsible for security, no matter how small they seem. In a world of limited resources (show and real), employees must learn proper security procedures, such as how to avoid phishes.
He concludes by noting that just as the Night’s Watch is only the first line of defense, so too is the security team of your company. To truly overcome the threat will require everyone to be aware and contribute.