Unpopular Opinion - CSI: Cyber could be good for Information Security

Like many others in the security industry I sat down last night to watch the first episode of CSI: Cyber, the latest of the CSI franchises, following the work of special agent Avery Ryan and her team. Special agent Ryan is a CyberPsychologist who heads up the Cyber Crime Division of the FBI.

As expected the episode caused a good number of laughs and facepalms to those of us who work in all areas of the security industry, not just forensics. As an industry we took to twitter to poke fun at the misuse of terminology, made up jargon and unrealistic processes and procedures that were used by the investigators. Others in the industry have pointed out that it is just entertainment and that some elements are in fact correct. Perhaps the show isn’t disproportionately unrealistic, perhaps this is just a case of Gell-Mann Amnesia whereby our own knowledge of the subject matter makes us more likely to spot glaring inaccuracies than would be the case if this were, say, traditional forensics. Let’s not forget that when the other, now immensely popular, CSI franchises (based on traditional forensics as opposed to “Cyber”) were launched they were also lambasted for being unrealistic; and yet these shows are credited for drawing more people into the field of forensics.

At Leviathan we have already written about the scarcity of cybersecurity expertise, something with which the press seemed to agree. Perhaps CSI: Cyber will achieve what we as an industry have not, drawing more people into the field to fill the open positions and bring us up to capacity. Here’s hoping.