Cyber and CyberSecurity is a Team Sport


Cyber has an identity crisis. Most people think it is someone else’s problem. The reality is cyber is all of our issues. It is personal. But the challenge is how do we engage people to understand they have a role to play.
Obviously, any game need players.

If you think of American football, you have offensive (Quarterback, Running Backs, Wide Receivers) and defensive (Safety, Linesman, Linebacker) players. Players specialized for specific uses, such as Special Teams and Field Goal Kickers. Basketball players play both sides of the court. Hockey and soccer/football players may specialize in offense or defense, but need to understand both sides and be able to play both at any given time when the opportunity arises. Some players like the Seeker in Quidditch from Harry Potter have a very specific singular target that can win or lose the game depending on how Chasers, Beaters and Keepers score or defend against all of the other activity going on in the game.

Cyber is very similar. Most people think of the attacking hackers trying to gain access to information and the defenders trying to prevent breaches and information leakage. Too bad the game is not that simple.

Continuing the sports metaphor:

Cyber needs coaches, people who can guide, lead, teach, encourage, challenge, critique and criticize the performance to make the players better. Maybe they played in a past life and maybe they didn’t, but they understand the need for the game and how to play it.

Cyber needs referees, those involved in the process who create the rules and deem what is out of bounds. Our lawmakers who create legislation to protect us, but being careful to not interfere with the playing of the game. Industry experts who help ensure the game play is fair and accessible. Regulation that guides how products and services should ensure the equipment used is up to industry standards.

Cyber needs promoters, those who are charged with making people aware of the game and to get them involved. Marketing, recruiting and engagement specialist who describe the benefits of the game, how to play and make sure people want to play. This is not an easy task considering the breadth and depth of the cyber landscape without turning people off.

Cyber needs fans!!! This might be the most important factor that Cyber has historically overlooked. We need EVERYONE to know they have a role to play. They don’t need to be able to play to find a place in the game. They don’t need to have ever played to participate. They don’t need to understand the rules to know the outcome of the play. They don’t have to even like the game to know it is being played.

Cyber needs fans (and therefore everyone) to know the game is being played whether they watch or not. Not watching or not paying attention does not change the outcome (credit cards and identities stolen). The game still might affect their personal lives or the way they do business. Ignorance is not bliss, it can be dangerous and costly.

Cyber needs fans to help improve the game. The fans determine the direction and the need for the game. The fans who learn the rules help make sure the rules are created and enforced. Young fans may want to get in the game someday, we need to get them engaged early so they can continue the game in the future. We need to make sure anyone can come to the game because it is everyone who is impacted.

The game is being played for the fans whether they realize it or not. Engaged fans are the best. Fans need to understand the cost of the game and be willing to actively participate. Sometimes that is money, sometimes it is time, sometimes it is understanding and sometimes it is just knowing your role and how you can help advance the game for the outcome that important to everyone.


It’s game day every day in Cyber. Everyone is playing the game. What role are you playing?