One of the campaigns at the recent Cisco Live! in San Diego was “Security is Everywhere”. During the keynote they even launched one of the new advertisements. I am highly supportive of this type of advertising, simply because I think it delivers a very realistic message that is believable. The lead actor actually LOOKS like a few professional penetration test guys I know (and yes, many pen-testers were hackers at some time). The basis is “Think you’ll spot us? You haven’t so far” which is a very truthful and powerful message that will resonate with corporations.
On the other hand, recently I was sent a link to this. Talk about a 180 degree swing, this isn’t the message. I get it, someone who used to work there, or knows someone stole a flash drive. However it is all very “24”.
The biggest problem from a marketing perspective is that it is all very Hollywood, it does not feel believable even if it is. Can I draw a comparison to probably the biggest technological “What the hell” moment on TV? As I don’t think it’s far off.
The “room of geeks” is not totally off the mark for who is hacking, but are the rooms of geeks the ones that companies generally need to worry about? Not even close, most hackers break in and leave a love note, or download a file listing to brag to their friends. The professional, many times overseas hacker organizations who attack with financial intent are the ones you need to be concerned with.
Any professional knows that a real “SOC” – Security Operations Centre does not involve huge screens or 45 degree angled command centre desks but intelligently and continually updated software, resources and procedures.
The undertone of socially awkward geeks is very much unappreciated by me personally. Suggesting that hackers are some kind of smelly fat huge glasses wearing fiend in a messy room full of wires wearing BAZINGA! shirts is a stereotype that we have been spending years to overcome and it didn’t help when they suggest that professional organizations are stupid without the “awkward guy from Cisco”.
This new video misses the mark pretty heavily on the corporate message and the social message in way off the mark.