5 Cybersecurity lessons to learn from Stranger Things 

5 Cybersecurity lessons to learn from Stranger Things

Netflix’s original series ‘Stranger Things‘ season-4 is on its way to a worldwide release today.

As the plot deepens every season, viewers are rooting hard for their favourite characters. From the power-house Eleven to lovable Steve, everyone has made their way to our techno-savvy hearts. You’d be mighty pleased to know that this series not only gets us ready to face other-worldly monsters, but also has important cybersecurity lessons! Read on.

Take Mind Flayer, for example!

The Mind Flayer, also known as the Shadow Monster, is the main antagonist. This creature is the supreme ruler of The Upside Down and controls the Demogorgon that attacks humans and sometimes animals. [Sorry, Dustin, for your loss!]

The main power of Mind Flayer is the ability to take control of its victims to do his bidding. It literally holds their minds for ransom while accessing their memories, fears and deep secrets to jeopardise, extort and damage everyone in its path of total annihilation. 

Phew! Sounds pretty much like Ransomware, right?

Worry not; our little heroes of the Stranger Things universe are here to share 5 valuable Cybersecurity lessons that will help you prepare and fight better.

Lesson 1: Identify Your Critical Assets

While Eleven is the target for Demogorgan, we all agree that Will is the real critical asset here. Why? Unlike Eleven, Will’s Mind is not protected from Mind Flayer. Naturally, he infiltrates the real world through Will. This has been rightly identified by his friends, and thus they do everything to protect Will. 

Similarly, we must identify the critical assets in our business such as databases, passwords, and access points that are vulnerable and prone to Ransomware attacks. It is best to conduct a Ransomware Vulnerability Assessment against known risk scenarios identifying and documenting all existing anti-malware controls and mapping them to the confirmed business assets to verify the applicability and detect gaps in protection.

Lesson 2: Be Prepared

“You still have that bat?… The one with the nails?” asks Dustin, to which Steve Harrington responds with a resounding “Yes!”

Just like Steve, you always need to be prepared. The likelihood of success with any Cybersecurity plan is directly correlated to your readiness. This includes the solutions you employ, your team’s strength, asset management, and the plan’s execution. 

Lesson 3: Be Alert

At Hawkins Lab, Mike identifies Will’s behaviour pattern that signals him being under Mind Flayer’s spell. Without wasting a minute, Mike alerts Chief Hopper about the oncoming Demodogs trap stimulated by Mind Flayer and helps them escape in time. 

So, take a pointer from Mike and implement effective monitoring controls but also increase user awareness through training programs, flyers, and quizzes.

Lesson 4: Respond Quicker. Better. 

We have to admit that the Battle at Starcourt Mall was mindblowing! With Lucas acquiring a large stash of firecrackers, the group nicely handles Mind Flayer, giving just enough time for Eleven to free Billy from its spell and allowing Hopper to close the gate while the Mind Flayer finally collapses and dies. 

Having the right tools and the right people to execute your incident response plan is critical to handling a cyberattack. Not only can you help limit the damage to your systems, but this can also make a massive difference in customer confidence and regulatory censure.

Lesson 5: Get Ready To Recover

Stranger Things season-3 ended on a high, albeit sad note. With Chief Hopper’s heroic death, the future seemed gloomy for everyone. But they managed to recover and get back on their feet to explore the next chapter and gave us the much awaited Season 4!  

This is not different from our business’s capability to recover from cyberattacks.

This can be done through the Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) plans. Make your business resilient enough to recover and bounce back stronger from a devastating breach.

In Conclusion

There will always be a Mind Flayer that attacks and damages your businesses. Now, either you give in like Billy and end up losing everything. Or prepare and protect yourselves like Eleven, Mike, Will, Lucas, Erica, Dustin, Steve, Robin, Jonathan, Nancy, Max, Joyce, and Chief Hopper (Spoiler Alert – he is alive!) and fight your threats like a pro!

Disclaimer: All trademarks, names & products mentioned in the digest are owned by the respective organizations. 

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