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Security Games IT

McAfee Finds That Gamers Are Strong Candidates for Cybersecurity Jobs (venturebeat.com) 62

To beat cybercriminals, McAfee suggests in a new report that gamers may be the key candidates for cybersecurity jobs. From a report: The Santa Clara, California-based cybersecurity company said it did a survey of 300 senior security managers and 650 security professionals at major corporations. And 78 percent of respondents said that the current generation entering the work force -- those that grew up playing video games -- are stronger candidates for cybersecurity roles. The report suggests that gamers, those engaged and immersed in online competitions, may be the logical next step to plugging the skills gap.

92 percent of respondents believe that gaming affords players experience and skills critical to cybersecurity threat hunting: logic, perseverance, an understanding of how to approach adversaries and a fresh outlook compared to traditional cybersecurity hires. Three-quarters of senior managers say they would consider hiring a gamer even if that person had no specific cybersecurity training or experience. 72 percent of respondents say hiring experienced video gamers into the IT department seems like a good way to plug the cybersecurity skills gap.

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McAfee Finds That Gamers Are Strong Candidates for Cybersecurity Jobs

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  • Oh No! (Score:4, Funny)

    by LifesABeach ( 234436 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @03:25PM (#56382859) Homepage
    Equifax has a job opening for a Music Major to manage their computer security
    • In college we had a lot of Music Majors who were more technically savvy then some of the Computer Science and Computer Engineering Majors.
      Their creative skills augmented their technical training, allowing for better understanding of the classed topic. While the STEM students just took what the class taught as wrote, and didn't bother expanding their minds beyond what was taught to why it is was taught.

      Now for Equifax, there is little evidence that this guy had technical training to make him qualified to ma

      • My brother Pete played the clarinet and was a genius level brainiac. Played chess with locals then played chess by mail .Make a move, mail it to your opponent. Opponent makes move, mails it back. He would not be a good candidate for a security job.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        While the STEM students just took what the class taught as wrote

        Rote.

        Now for Equifax, there is little evidence that this guy..But I wouldn't fault the fact he..point out that he

        Woman. The person we are referring to is a woman.

        I suppose that is the "creativity" of which you speak.

  • Bath salts. Just avoid them.

  • by Minupla ( 62455 ) <minupla&gmail,com> on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @03:29PM (#56382903) Homepage Journal

    90% of my interview candidates can't articulate the difference between public key and symmetric encryption. I'd probably hire them if they could play Zork, and knew the difference between the two.

    • Anecdote time here. I once had a job interview that the guys asked the difference between streaming and message oriented protocols, 1995 bsd socket era.

      I had been writing smtp, irc and pop3 clients and servers for 6 months at this point and only new udp as datagrams, not messages.

      I totally borked an entry-level interview over something stupid.

  • Gamers are like water flowing downhill -- they _will_ find the most efficient path. Why people are surprised about this is beyond me.

    Unless you play hardcore, the entire risk:reward in games is a complete joke, especially with the grindfests that modern gaming has devolved into.
    i.e.
    Do some boring-menial-grind for X hours for a % of phat loot -- oh wait, that sounds exactly like a job.

    • "Doing" is not the same as "understanding". Gaming requires repetition, consistency, and often per-mutative testing and isolation to meet the goal most efficiently. But that's not at all the same and understanding how it all works in abstracts. Honestly, you'd be far better served hiring an automotive mechanic than a gamer for cyber security. At the mechanic has the foundational knowledge for troubleshooting and isolation.

    • The summary calls out that they mean competitive gamers. I'd imagine that Hearth Stone and League of Legends are primary candidates for this. The first being more strategy focused, while the later has a team element to it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Obviously, just look at how most of them will never breed. Efficiency at it's best.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      There are two types of gamers, one good and one bad. If you do not make that distinction you are fooling yourself. Gamers who cheat and gamers who do not cheat, guess which gamers you should put in security roles and which you should avoid like the plague. So sure games who don't cheat, who don't play games where you can buy power ups to beat people who do not buy them and gamers who prefer coop to pvp and of course gamers who play I don't know maybe strategy games instead of shooters, or any game that use

  • by dryriver ( 1010635 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @03:45PM (#56383037)
    Isn't that precisely how cybersecurity works as well? Good hiring strategy!
  • Surprisingly, the best ones are actually French Literature bachelor degree holders, followed closely by those with various foreign languages (other than their own).

    The problem is that the vast majority of people who apply for such positions are gamers. As my gaming friends worldwide could tell you, it is very possible to be both.

  • AI is really good at playing computer games. So if AI has the same skills set that cybersecurity workers have, their jobs are soon to be automated out of existence.
    • "computer games" is a broad term.
      There are games AI is very good at, there are games it sucks at.

    • AI is really BAD at most computer games. it is really good at a tiny subset of games with well defined rules and strategies and complete information.
      • by afxgrin ( 208686 )

        Even the games where AI is difficult they are usually given some additional advantage over the player otherwise they are trivial to beat.

  • Managers, meet HR (Score:5, Insightful)

    by magarity ( 164372 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @03:52PM (#56383085)

    Three-quarters of senior managers say they would consider hiring a gamer even if that person had no specific cybersecurity training or experience

    Except those people's resumes never make it past the HR filter because they don't list any specific training or experience.

    • by Corbets ( 169101 )

      Three-quarters of senior managers say they would consider hiring a gamer even if that person had no specific cybersecurity training or experience

      Except those people's resumes never make it past the HR filter because they don't list any specific training or experience.

      I get kind of tired of such comments. As a hiring manager in cyber security at two different companies over the past decade, I can tell you that HR doesn’t decide who gets in; I do. If I want them to filter based on certain keywords, they will. If I don’t say that, they won’t. If they have any doubts, then the CV winds up in my inbox, because finding qualified cyber candidates is *hard*. So quit blaming HR - it’s my choice to reject your ill-designed and poorly-communicated CV, and t

      • by Minupla ( 62455 )

        One of my better hires was a poli sci major...

        This. One of my best promotions ever was a woman who had started in the call center. She knew all the ins and outs of the software and every fraud trick in the book. She also had a technical mindset. When I resigned, I recommended her for my old position, and she's rocking it.

        CyberSecurity IMO is about 50% technical chops, and 50% soft/social/psych skills, outside of some narrow entry level positions. Even a technical pentester needs to be able to put themselves in the shoes of the developer and ask th

  • I'm a gamer, but in my experience most people who game enough to be called "gamers" are lucky if they aren't too high to make it to work. Above and beyond the fact that, much like me, they are often not the most socially well adjusted people. Since about half of most jobs in security industries involve writing reports for customers and presenting those reports to customers, I don't see how your average gamer fits that bill.

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @04:06PM (#56383175) Homepage

    And 78 percent of respondents said that the current generation entering the work force -- those that grew up playing video games -- are stronger candidates for cybersecurity roles.

    Firstly, what respondents say isn't necessarily the objective truth. Secondly, just who are they stronger than? It should be bleedin' obvious that just on average you'd expect gamers to be stronger candidates than the average person in the street, simply by dint of probably knowing a bit more about computers.

    • That. This is another clickbait study that doesn't show anything.

      Answers could be biased for so many reasons. Like the mental projection for senior managers that gamers, hackers, and all those youngsters playing all day with their computers are the same... they know better how to use a computer than themselves. Sure, but that doesn't make them good at security, although obviously better than the average senior manager.

      I've been fighting the idea that video games were making kids stupid for decades (they

  • Mcafee says this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@COLAtpno-co.org minus caffeine> on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @04:32PM (#56383343) Homepage

    It's worth pointing out that Mcafee, a supposed "security company" who no competent security professional would rely upon, said this.

    It does explain a lot, now that I think of it.

  • They'd be ideal in marketing too, similar as it is to the spray and pray strategy employed by many gamers.

  • by ewhenn ( 647989 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @05:03PM (#56383587)
    Former Equifax “Chief Security Officer” Susan Mauldin has a bachelor’s degree and a master of fine arts degree in music composition from the University of Georgia. Look where "no expertise" got them (and us). Hey, let's hire butchers to be surgeons too, I mean they cut things after all, so it's sort of related!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Posting this anonymously because I work in Cybersec and don't want to be quoted.

      ANY of us could have been her. There's not one single person in Cybersecurity who has not done a risk acceptance on something like this because the business made an argument that it needed another month to close the vulnerability, or someone high enough accepted the risk.

      We ALL get up in the morning and if we're honest with ourselves go "I hope I don't make the wrong call today", because we play in traffic every day. It's the

  • ...92 percent of respondents are fucking idiots. Playing games doesn't make you a better hacker...writing code does.
    • Maybe it depends on the kind of game. The difference between something engineering in nature, such as Factorio or Kerbal Space Program compared to something idiotic like Farmville.

      Enjoying games that require a steep learning curve demonstrates a willingness to learn new skills and do problem solving. You're right that actually writing code is the most important, but it is possible too that other factors could help lead to the out-of-the-box thinking that would benefit a good security analyst.

  • Young, tech-savvy people prepared to spend 20 hours a day at a screen might be good at tech jobs? Well yeah, as long as you don't expect them to spend hours a day doing free study - gaming is time consuming after all.
  • Seems all these articles these days are getting overly redundant in an unnecessary and redundant way. Here's the basic formula:

    $COMPANY can't find enough cheap workers and comes up with $STUPID_IDEA to try to explain why competent people still cost $TOO_MUCH.

    As a bonus for this article, we can have fun pointing out obvious lurking variables [wikipedia.org] because they obviously don't realize things may not be as they seem [tylervigen.com].

  • I'm in my early 40s, grew up playing video games and I, as well as many others in my age range are good security analysts.

    LK

  • iirc he claimed to be able hack something and then it showed up that it was a con.. so is it cheating what gaming teaches you?

    https://entertainment.slashdot... [slashdot.org]
    https://apple.slashdot.org/sto... [slashdot.org]
  • All those years of downloading pirated games of strange sites and learning to avoid virus/malware/ransomware is finally be paying of for these gamers!
  • Where do these jobs live? Are they virtually a job? Are there more than 1 of them?

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