Security Hipsters Meet The Mainstream

Blog Post created by SeffyGHops Employee on Jan 28, 2015

This blog originally appeared on the RSA Speaking of Security site here:  We felt it was worth reposting to this Community. 



“Well, my boyfriend’s in a band, he plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed. I’ve got feathers in my hair, I get down to Beat poetry. And my jazz collection’s rare, I can play most anything. I’m a Brooklyn baby.” – from Brooklyn Baby by Lana Del Rey.


Whether we like it or not the security industry has officially gone mainstream. The scene just isn’t what it once was. We’re no longer a counterculture movement. Face it, security is…OVER. It’s been co-opted by the mainstream. There is literally a movie in theaters now called “Blackhat.” Dude, it’s over.



Have you seen security “experts” you never heard of giving their uninformed opinion to an even less informed news anchor on a major news network? It’s happening every day. You know that guy who shows up at events like DerbyCon wearing a slick suit? He’s not going away anytime soon. Your retired father calling to kibitz (chit-chat) about one of the latest security breaches and theories on attribution – I’ve been on that call. Literally, as I’m writing this there is a commercial on during The Simpsons featuring a real-life “hacker” with a beard and hoodie trying to convince me to go to college to study cyber security. These things are our new normal. Security has gone from hipster status to mainstream status and there isn’t much we can do about it other than accept it, preach our passion and spread our truth.


We may not like it, and we don’t have to be happy about it, but we actually are going to need the annoying “mainstream” if we’re going to accomplish our security missions. That’s because unlike tight jeans, yoga, artisanal ice, ironic facial hair and The Lumineers, security reallymatters. Security can’t continue to be a niche. It impacts all of us personally and its sphere of influence is only expanding. Not only do we need the mainstream to have the broad impact we want, but it is also our job to make sure that the new guests at our party are learning about security from us, and reaching out to us for advice. Don’t make them feel unwelcome or stupid or else they’re going to start listening to people who you probably don’t think much of, rather than listening to you. Sometime you are just going to have to shout a little louder to ensure your good idea trumps a misguided poor idea. But it will be worth it in the end.


The world is changing around us and we can make it better. The good news is we have an incredibly smart and passionate community who are totally capable of driving the security industry in the right direction. Let’s make that our collective 2015 resolution.


PS Yes I recognize the irony of writing about hipsters on a corporate blog … just pretend I’m doing it to be ironic