I put my money where my mouth was, and took my wife on a date last week. I’m sure that we were not the only people who saw The Interview out of a sense of duty. We expected it to be a tedious and silly movie, but we also felt that paying to watch it, in a regular movie theater, would be a statement in support of freedom of speech, and against cyber coercion. It turned out to be a much better movie than we expected.
No, I don’t think this was a cinematic masterpiece. No, I don’t think I’ll need to watch it again. No, it isn’t going to win any awards. The flick is immature, politically incorrect, and the basic concept is tasteless. Yet it has a certain charm to it, with Rogen and Franco successfully portraying a pair of lovable rogues who get in just a bit over their heads. It wasn’t great art, but it was entertaining, and surprisingly upbeat. It has a 7.2/10 rating on IMDb right now, a positive score only partially due to patriotism.
As 2014 came to a close, we have had a lot of passionate discussion inside Gartner on the degree to which 2015 should be considered a new normal for information security. We didn’t fully agree on that, but we did agree that the world will not be a better place if society allows empty threats to shut down freedom of speech. The second week of 2015 has turned into a sobering reminder that not all such threats are empty.
I don’t really think that a company that makes movies should be considered as a ‘critical’ part of the infrastructure, but the Sony hack did provide an effective way to leverage a relatively small level of effort into a message heard around the globe. Increasingly, it will be recognized that we are all together in the same cyberrealm, and our digital fates are related. Everyone in IT Security can help make the world a safer place, by ensuring that their own cyber infrastructures are well managed. Every IT professional can help reduce the potential for threat, coercion, and terror, through well-governed infrastructures that resist cyberattack. It isn’t just a movie–sometimes its reality.
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