I recently had an eye opening experience. My wife confessed to me, in tears, that she liked Justin Bieber's music. She asked for forgiveness, as I walked out of the room mumbling some unrepeatable curse words. My wife used to like Led Zeppelin, Nine Inch Nails and similar stuff. But I don't blame Bieber for her succumbing to the dark side; she has played with fire already, listening to Enrique Iglesias once before.
Wanting to know more about this presence that has invaded our home, I looked at some astonishing numbers:
The invasion was for real, and it was on my doorstep.
As a reference, Andrew Hay is considered by many to be the Bieber of Information Security. When it comes to the voice, the looks and teenie followers, he doesn't compare. Just take a look at the following stats:
Anyway, how does this relate to our favourite subject - Information Security?
We read in the news every day that we are essentially in an arms race, a race that we have failed to win or even keep up with so far. The antivirus and endpoint industry has been failing miserably for 20 years now; the "why don't we write good code for starters" technology is not there yet, and won't be until people start dying because of bad code; and then there are the categories of detection, awareness, and remediation, all of which are being hotly pursued by vendors small and large.
Where does our teeny idol Justin fit in all of this? Well, Justin Bieber holds the power to change this. We will never be able to convince those 40 million plus hormone-laden teenagers to take up IT security, share attack data, code better or help spread the gospel of security. But one word from Justin, one message to his minions and we'd have quite a few enthusiastic helpers in the fight against cybercrime. It may not be 40 million, but even if 10 million of his fans took note, then imagine the impact this could have.
Think about it for a moment. Instead of Justin saying or writing things like this during a performance or on Facebook:
He could be directing all this force to spread information security awareness, by saying things like:
(Quotes and attributions from http://www.nativeintelligence.com/ni-free/itsec-quips.asp, none of them are mine)
This is a wake-up call. Without a high profile spokesperson to fight in the corner of Information Security and educate younger generations, the future of the Internet as we know it will be lost too.
Now is the time for the security world to find its own Bieber, to pick up the gauntlet and raise a security conscious generation.