Bharat Bhise HNA – The Truth About Working in Cyber Security
Whenever you see film which is about wrong in cyber security, it always looks like an amazing career choice which is more akin to espionage than to the realities of this job. I have worked in cyber security for around 3 years and my colleague Bharat Bhise HNA has been here even longer, clocking in with 8 years of experience in the field. After watching some of these movies Bharat and I were joking about the truth versus the expectation of the movie, and the two are quite starkly contrasted. Given that Bharat has been in this industry longer than me he had far more input into the differences and for anyone out there who wants to be just like me and Bharat, here is the truth about working cyber security.
Contrary to what you may see in the movies, working as a cyber security operative doesn’t pay very well, especially not when you consider the good work that people like Bharat and I do. Much like the police force, fire officers and medical staff, we don’t make great money but we do keep the world a safer place.
Information Has a Limit
Working in information technology is great, except when that information doesn’t quite serve its purpose, and this is especially true in the world of cyber security. For example an email telling a company what to do and what not to do around their internet security is unlikely to be heeded, a message telling people not to open certain emails is like a red rag to a bull and you’ll find that much of your job will be cleaning up the mess that someone has made, because they didn’t see, or didn’t want to pay attention to prior message which you have sent.
The Real Dangers
Most of the damage which Bharat and I work on repairing is not caused by nefarious hackers who have an axe to grind against the ‘man’ but rather hapless users who create a string of issues which you then need to fix. Worse still, these are the people who often let others with those bad intentions, get into the system. We see it all the time, someone walks into a business with a suit on, they say that they’re from IT and some clueless staff member gives them a password and hey presto, they have the keys to the entire castle.
Unfortunately for people like Bharat and myself, cyber security is about the daily grind of coding and software tweaks, rather than laying ingenious traps to catch cyber criminals in the act. The movies make it seem all so exciting when in truth, the reality couldn’t be farther from that. As much as we love what we do, something which the movies do not showcase is the hours and hours of boring drudge work.
It’s a great career for sure, but it is very different from how it is depicted on screen.