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Why Ethan Hunt, John McClane and James Bond need to be Certified Security Professionals

Cyberwar, cyberterrorist


If you’ve been tracking cybersecurity news daily, then you could probably imagine the script for the next  Die Hard, James Bond, Mission Impossible or Lethal Weapon film. The script in these films will continue to include shootouts, car chases, daring leaps from glass towers or craggy cliffs – but there will also be a new kind of duel that won’t involve silencer muzzled Walther PPKs or Magnums. The cat and mouse show became Spy vs. Spy in the cold war, and now becomes hacker vs. hacker. So Ethan Hunt (the character played by Tom Cruise in the Mission Impossible movies) will probably need to be a certified security professional as well – that’s if he intends to stop tech-savvy villains from hacking into the Department of Defense and stealing the launch codes for nuclear weapons. Ditto for James Bond/MI6 and John McClane (Die Hard). For the time being, he can depend on the techie in his team who supports him from a bunker or van laden with technical paraphernalia.

Last week, vpnMentor reported that a database containing 20 million records — of the population of an entire country, including its President –- was compromised. The country in question is Ecuador. They did not spare WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange either – he was granted asylum by Ecuador in 2012. Well, if that’s possible, imagine what would happen if the entire social security database containing national IDs was stolen – and the details leaked online.

While the focus on warfare shifts to outer space, governments should not ignore the warfare that is happening now in cyberspace. And Ecuador is just one example.

Countries will now build armies with soldiers and spies with cybersecurity skills. Yes, new-age spies are already trained in cybersecurity. But it’s going to take some time and effort to build a cybersecurity force, as there is a shortage of cybersecurity professionals in the industry.

But one can start today. Start by training students. Security needs to be included in university curricula. We read somewhere that a school was teaching kindergarten students the basics of cybersecurity. And why not? If a kid can learn to use iPads and Google before they can learn to write essays, then they should be aware of cybersecurity, cyberbullying, trolls, and the dark alleys of the internet.

So, Hunt, McClane, and Bond – you need to get that certification right away because your next assignment will be against cyberterrorists. And be sure to talk to the kids about cybersecurity too!