From Game of Thrones to Cyber Security

In addition to large amount of nudity, violence and gory death, Game of Thrones is actually a collection of stories about hopes being thrown off the cliff, following by a glimpse of light in the dark, then repeating that for 7 seasons.

Think Murphy's law, things can get ugly, will get ugly and likely the ugliest as well.

A bit like working in cyber security.

And here is what I have learnt from Game of Thrones so far.

White King and Co.

Their cyber security counterparts are the masterminds, architects of cyber attacks, who are smart and highly skilled in one or many areas - think the Olympian javelin skill demonstrated in season 7.

Taking one of them down requires special weapons and the advanced ability to track them. Again, it is like dealing with cyber crims, weapons, although rare, (law enforcement, good security dudes etc.) are attainable, finding them is the difficult bit.

Folks in Game of Thrones have Brandon Stark, our world has machine learning backed SIEM. After proper tuning (for Bran, it was training), both can certainly see the past and current, even predict fragmented future (regression model backed prediction and constant feedback loop for improvement).

White walkers

Almost identical to botnets, these minions were once merely normal people (computers). The dead (bots) kill (infect) and the White King & his entourage (Command and Control nodes) turn them into new dead (bring them online to the botnet).

In cyber security world though, there is a different type of bots (dead). They don't have to be in the botnet, rather they infect, then go on search & destroy - think EternalBlue backed malware like WannaCry.

The Westero

Most of them are just like Australian enterprises of different size, shape and culture. I'm sure it is easy to relate,

  • The traditional large and established enterprise with international presence (the current kingdom /Lannister)
  • The grassroot Aussie large enterprise that had a glorious past but now falling (The North)
  • The medium size business that performs rather well in an overseas market (Dothraki)
  • The company that excel in a niche area (Greyjoy)
  • A few large consulting firms (Tyrion, the spider, Davos, red woman etc.) who know each other and sort of worked with each others' employers in the past
  • Cyber security professionals, who come from different background and have skillset but sole purpose is to guard the wall

The Dragon Chick

A local start-up that is born overseas, aiming to grow in the local market, who expands really quickly aboard with a great working culture. The CEO (Daenerys) then hires a local consulting firm who is insightful and has great local connections for the "return strategy".

The Dragon

Blockchain, AI, machine learning, big data etc., dragon is one or many of these buzzwords that possess extreme competitive edge, however a lot people know, very few gets, one in a million masters. Same goes to the adverse use of dragon. Imagine an automated, AI backed attack that constantly learns your vulnerabilities and feed them into building new attack models - no wonder the (fire)wall wouldn't stand a chance.