Security Strategy, Plan, Budget

“Dad, I’m not wasting my time on Xbox, I’m studying to be a cyber pro”

Despite spending many hours playing World of Tanks and World of Warships, it's probably too late for me to take my admittedly substandard gaming skills and use them to become a cybersecurity professional.

However, the younger generation of screen junkies and Twitch followers might be exactly who cybersecurity teams need to recruit to fill the many vacant job spots on their rosters -- at least according to a recent McAfee study.

McAfee surveyed 950 cybersecurity professionals who work in companies that employ more than 500 people, and an overwhelming number of them -- 92 percent -- believe that video gamers have the skills needed to excel in a cybersecurity role.

Perhaps this comes from the fact that 45 percent of those surveyed said that they themselves are serious gamers?

Be that as it may, the executives told McAfee that gamers have learned some interesting abilities while burning away hours playing titles such as Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege and Fortnite -- and 75 percent said they would hire “a gamer even if that person had no specific cybersecurity training or experience,” the report stated.

The skills most gamers have that interested the polled cybersecurity employers are:

  • Logic.
  • Perseverance.
  • An understanding of how to approach adversaries.
  • A fresh outlook compared to traditional cybersecurity hires.
  • The competitive edge needed to go head to head with hackers.

“More than three quarters (78 percent) of respondents say the current generation entering the workforce, who have been raised playing video games, are stronger candidates for cybersecurity roles than traditional hires,” the report stated.

And to think parents, myself included, keep saying to put down that damn controller, go outside and do something constructive like mow the lawn or get a job. Maybe these younger folks have been training for a high-paying career right under our very noses.

At least that's what I'm hoping for, considering that my daughter Rebecca, with some help from her older brother, is familiar enough with gaming that she was able to text me the names of the three aforementioned game titles about two seconds after I asked for some examples.

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