What 'Westworld' Can Teach Us About Cybersecurity

December 05, 2016 by Hobie Thompson

Doesn't look like anything to me.If you haven't been watching the hit HBO show Westworld, the show just ended its stunning first season with a bang. Westworld won't return until 2018, so there's time to catch up. For those unfamiliar with the show, Westworld takes place in (what we assume is) the future, in a stunningly large amusement style park filled with lifelike humanoid robots. The first season of the show covers aspects of everything from philosophy to corporate espionage, and, believe it or not, teaches some valuable lessons about cyber security.

 

** SPOILER ALERT - DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE SPOILED ON SEASON 1 OF WESTWORLD**

 

  • Lesson 1: These violent delights have violent ends. The phrase that starts the hosts self-awareness spreads like a virus. And a number of people within Westworld/Delos corporate are blissfully unaware that, within their park, this phrase is spreading. Unfortunately, their methodology for antivirus, "QA", is  impacted by an internal malfaisant in Robert Ford. While your company is hopefully not facing as daunting an issue as this, it does show the value in considering getting an outside opinion on your IT infrastructure.

  • Lesson 2: Not much of a rind on you. The hosts almost seem to use this phrase as a way to make fun of guests, almost as if to say 'we (hosts) are smarter than you (guests).' While a hacker well never be quite this brazen, hackers, viruses, malware - many succeed because they trick users into thinking they are safe. Without proper training and safeguards, it's quite easy to get breached.

  • Lesson 3: Doesn't look like anything to me. Just as hosts can be blind to things that directly harm them, so can you. There exist a multitude of threats that send your valuable data to a third party and leave you none the wiser. Don't turn a blind eye - make sure your security is robust enough to not simply protect you, but to look for the things an ordinary human can miss.


We could go on here, like expounding on the values and detriments of keeping data internal only, like Ford had (seemingly) wanted to do. But the lesson should be clear - even if we're far from self aware humanoid robots, there are always opportunities to make sure your security and procedures are up to current standards. If you're unsure you are or feel you could use a second opinion, services like All Covered Advanced Security can help you assure that you wont wind up like the guests in Westworld - taken by complete and utter surprise.