Why information security needs its own teen idol

Opinion by Dominique Karg

I recently had an eye opening experience - my wife confessed to me, in tears, that she liked Justin Bieber's music.

I recently had an eye opening experience - my wife confessed to me, in tears, that she liked Justin Bieber's music.

She asked for forgiveness, as I walked out of the room mumbling some unrepeatable curse words. My wife used to like Led Zeppelin, Nine Inch Nails and similar stuff. But I don't blame Bieber for her succumbing to the dark side; she has played with fire already, listening to Enrique Iglesias once before.

Wanting to know more about this presence that has invaded our home, I looked at some astonishing numbers:

·        Justin Bieber Facebook Likes: 45,633,916

·        Twitter Followers: 25,580,060

We read in the news every day that we are essentially in an arms race, that the anti-virus and endpoint industry has been failing miserably for 20 years now and asking "why don't we write good code for starters" technology? People will not be dying because of bad code; and then there are the categories of detection, awareness and remediation, all of which are being hotly pursued by vendors small and large.

Where does our teeny idol Bieber fit in all of this? Well, Justin Bieber could hold the power to change this. We will never be able to convince those 40 million plus hormone-laden teenagers to take up IT security, share attack data, code better or help spread the gospel of security.

However one word from Bieber to his fans and followers and we would have quite a few enthusiastic helpers in the fight against cyber crime. It may not be 40 million, but even if ten million of his fans took note imagine the impact this could have.

Think about it for a moment. Instead of Bieber saying or writing things such as "I'd like to be an architect. That would be cool. I like drawing" or "I also try to read all of my fan mail. A lot of them send me candy, which I'm not allowed to eat 'cause my Mom says it might be poisonous", he could be directing all this force to spread information security awareness.

Without a high profile spokesperson to fight in the corner of information security and educate younger generations, the future of the internet as we know it will be lost too. Now is the time for the security world to find its own Bieber, to pick up the gauntlet and raise a security conscious generation.

Dominique Karg is the co-founder and chief hacking officer of AlienVault


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