Date: July 22-24, 2022July 24 2022
Location: New York City, NY
Join George Sandford, Sr Manager, ThreatINSIGHT Technical Success for his session "Don't Get Tangled up in Your Cape: Hero Culture as a Negative Force in Cyber Security" Everyone loves a good hero story, except when it provides a foundation for burnout, gatekeeping, intolerance, and creating a toxic culture. Cybersecurity as an industry and career has long suffered the negative impact of elements closely tied to the heroic mindset, and the recent global pandemic has drawn these outcomes into sharp relief. This talk explores the origins of no sleep, no downtime, chaos-driven response, and reward systems alongside "Superpower" skillsets that act as barriers to entry for many early in career individuals. It examines conditions that value and foster isolation and burnout, and often portray mental health issues as weakness. It provides real-world examples of the impact of "hero culture" as a negative element in the infosec community, including social media communications, adversarial interview processes, and corporate messaging. Lastly, it presents strategies for addressing these concerns and resources for those struggling or wishing to grow beyond the current state of affairs.