5 Cybersecurity Lessons from Netflix’s Squid Game

Squid Game

Netflix’s Squid Game has taken the world by storm. Despite shockingly violent scenes, the show has realistically highlighted human nature and social issues. But one thing you probably missed out is the numerous lessons it had to share. Especially for cybersecurity professionals.

Luckily, you don’t have to watch all the episodes again and relive the deaths of the characters you began to like. Here’s a quick look at seven cybersecurity lessons Netflix’s show has to offer.

Lesson 1) Work Smarter Rather than Harder

Even if you haven’t watched the show, chances are you’ve seen numerous memes depicting the dalgona scene. Players had to break out the shape impressed on the brittle candy, or else lose their lives.

Despite being tricked into choosing one of the toughest shapes, Seong Gi-hun tackled it in the smartest way possible and won that round.

As a security professional, you need to be able to focus on working smarter rather than harder. Especially considering the burnout problem expected as a result of cybersecurity budget decreases and lack of headcount.

Here are some important tips to help with this regard.

  • Be prepared for new challenges before they impact your enterprise. One way to do this is by monitoring cybersecurity trends and planning for them.
  • Evaluate your current cybersecurity tools to ensure they’re being put to good use. You should also check if you have essentials such as continuous monitoring tools in place.
  • Switch to automation and move away from manual changes and processes to keep up with challenges.

Lesson 2) Process Matters as Much as the Tools

Another interesting lesson from the dalgona game can be inspired by the way everyone attempted that challenge. While Jang Deok-su and Han Mi-neyo cheated by using the lighter, it was Gi-hun’s method that helped save many people.

Similarly, the glass manufacturer was able to figure out how to cross the glass bridge based on how the squares refracted light.

Basically, security practitioners need to have more than just tools. They need to use the right approach to solving specific problems. In addition to the knowledge shared by previous employees, you should consider enrolling in cybersecurity training to gain more knowledge and skill.

Lesson 3) Don’t Underestimate Physical Attacks

There’s no doubt that the organizers of the games took every measure possible to guard their secrecy. From drugging contestants to choosing a secluded island, they covered all their bases to protect their activities.

However, detective Hwang Jun-ho was able to infiltrate the game physically and pretend to be a guard to learn more. And let’s be honest, the whole process was quite easy since there wasn’t much physical security at the docks.

Applying this to cybersecurity, everyone within the organization needs to work towards ensuring the physical security of all assets. Some of the important steps to take include:

  • Making security everyone’s responsibility by expanding its responsibility across the organization
  • Limiting external access when possible
  • Deploying strong access control systems, especially at hard-to-secure locations
  • Discouraging tailgating, i.e. when unauthorized individuals follow authorized personnel through an access control point
  • Using string authentication methods such as pin code locks and biometric access control

Lesson 4) Don’t Forget to Use Multiple Layers of Security

Getting that piggy bank full of cash isn’t an easy feat. With each round, only a percentage of the initial 456 players made it through. Some got so tired that they emotionally gave up before being offed altogether.

This was a great strategy that cybersecurity professionals can embrace. With more layers securing systems, attackers may feel dissuaded to carry on. Especially if each successive layer of control makes it harder for attackers to succeed.

The additional layers further benefit you. Since attackers may not know what they’ll face next, they’ll grow slower. This gives security teams more time to react and prevent information assets from falling into the wrong hands.

Lesson 5) Trust is Always a Vulnerability

Ali was a great reminder that there’s still good in mankind. However, his kindness and willingness to trust those who were kind to him was his downfall. And that’s usually one of the reasons cybersecurity professionals end up facing a lot of challenges.

As this was always a concern, several concepts such as Zero Trust saw the light.

Zero Trust is a security framework that requires that all users be authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated before granted access to applications and data. It also combines numerous technologies such as risk based multi-factor authentication and endpoint security.

There are other methods that can further give organizations more control over their information assets. Therefore, you should consider your options carefully and implement them before someone mistakenly breaks that trust.

Did We Miss Any More Squid Game Cybersecurity Lessons?

If you noticed a few lessons of your own, do share them in the comments below. And don’t forget to check out our cybersecurity training options to be well prepared for any threats.

About the Author

Maha Khursheed is Manager - eLearning at LearningCert. A software engineering graduate, she has over 13 years of copywriting experience. Find her on her LinkedIn

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