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Titles & Names

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timmedin

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Post Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:56 pm

Titles & Names

Artful Dodger wrote:One of the biggest things that can happen is to form a comfortable name for the profession with an identifiable purpose.  Meaning, if I talk about Hacking to my 10 year old nephew he thinks “cool, you get to be a clever bad guy!  Neat!”  And he knows exactly what that word means.  If I talk about security analysis or penetration testing his eyes glaze over and he giggles at the word penetration.  So what happens when you try to sell to a CEO and add words like Ethical Hacker.  It is just plain difficult to explain our world.  But if we had some type of easily identifiable person, organization or something that is identifiable in pop culture, it would be so much easier.  The mafia has Elliot Ness and the FBI.  Cops have Robbers.  Yin has Yang.  Hackers have “well were kinda like hackers, but don’t call us hackers we are info sec professionals and kinda….blah”


An interesting point, but all jobs have multiple names, some cooler than others.
Sniper = counter-sniper, precision marksman, tactical marksman, sharpshooter, precision riflemen, and precision shooter

Personally, I don't care what you call me as long as I get to do my hacking/cracking/assessing/scanning and pay me my bucks/dollars/green backs/benjamins/clams.

Anyone else have any thoughts on the subject?
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KrisTeason

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Post Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:57 am

Re: Titles & Names

I'm not even in the industry, but I do notice that ethical hackers do get pissed off by all the negative attention the media points them out to be. "A raid of hackers broke into bank blah blah blah and -insert the rest here-", I've heard security professionals getting angry the way the media points hackers out to be someone with malicious or doing malicious shit with their knowledge, they'd actually prefer they coin them as crackers so they can have that ethical hacker name for themselves.
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RoleReversal

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Post Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:06 am

Re: Titles & Names

Personally I just let HR decide what my job title is (which usually means it isn'te quite accurate and changes more often than needs be).

On a personal level I stick with 'geek' or 'techie'. Never yet found a better way of suming up who I am or what I do :D It seems to work on all levels, to technical and non-technical people alike
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timmedin

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Post Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:34 am

Re: Titles & Names

I don't like the term Security Professional either. It sounds a little pretentious to me. Nose in the air, "I am a professional"
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NickFnord

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Post Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:36 am

Re: Titles & Names

we've all probably had similar issues.

for me, it's made some really awkward social situations - sometimes you just can't win.

if you make a judgement on how much you think the other person knows about technology and dumbify your job description down, it gets awkward. however recently I've been trying to leverage the sexual inuendo that comes with "penetration tester" in order to spice up the conversation a bit.  the awkwardness always comes later when they ask the inevitable "so how hard is it to hack a computer?" and you can't deliver an acceptable answer without getting into sleep inducing technical detail...  :-(

I usually therefore stick with:
"so what do you do?"
"computer stuff... hey, nice weather we're having!"


guess it would be similar us having a conversation with a specialist in an unrelated field:
"I'm a brain surgeon specialising in neuro-psychosis induced loboto-discombobulation therapy"
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don

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Post Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:03 am

Re: Titles & Names

I rather like professional and use it often. It very easily states that we work for a living. We're not on the criminal side or a student just getting our rocks off. We're serious enough about what we do to carve out a decent life, pay the mortgage and for many feed our families.

Don
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Artful Dodger

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Post Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:07 am

Re: Titles & Names

I know all fields suffer from identity issues.  No one that understands the nuance of any career can be satisfied with a simplified title.  But I don’t see it doing us any justice to just say we are techies, geeks or what ever just to get a simple point across.  But I truly believe we should have that simple thing that relates to ethical hacking/pen-testing or the whole security career with out a dissertation.  That would not only raise awareness but it would help with marketing and job growth.  

“So what do you do?”  
“I am a homicide detective”
“oh so your like an ethical murderer?”
“No! I just study them and understand them so I can help defend against them and help solve crimes.”
“But you probably do know how to kill someone and minimize the risk of getting caught, right?”
“Never mind.  I’m a cop.”

I know its apples and oranges in comparison to our world, but it isn’t too different.  I think there are so many psychological things going on here to.  So many of us are introverts.  So many of us go along with careers as long as we get to enjoy it and have fun.  But I really don’t want HR in charge of my career mold and public perception.

I may sound bitter about this, but I am not.  I just think it is really interesting to see an entire industry forming right under our nose.  What are the possibilities!  Exciting.  Were will it be in 20 years?  

Blah blah rant rant…ok I am off my soap box.
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RoleReversal

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Post Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:20 am

Re: Titles & Names

Artful Dodger wrote:“So what do you do?”  
“I am a homicide detective”
“oh so your like an ethical murderer?”
“No! I just study them and understand them so I can help defend against them and help solve crimes.”
“But you probably do know how to kill someone and minimize the risk of getting caught, right?”
“Never mind.  I’m a cop.”


:D LOL :D

I've never quite seen it put that way, definitely brought a smile to my face. I guess the only difference between the two fields in this regard is that the media don't use the same term to describe both criminals and law enforcement. The 'ethical' side of the term was only added to try and combat the 'negative' use of hacker.

Debate could be taken much further, personally I like the point Don made on the same topic in a previous post (can't find link); lets just call the BadGuystm what they are, criminals. Only the IT industry would attempt to come up with a new way of labelling well understood issues, unless we're going to create law2.0?....
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timmedin

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Post Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:18 pm

Re: Titles & Names

don wrote:I rather like professional and use it often. It very easily states that we work for a living. We're not on the criminal side or a student just getting our rocks off. We're serious enough about what we do to carve out a decent life, pay the mortgage and for many feed our families.

Don

The only reason I don't like "professional" in the title is I don't know of any other job/career that does it, so (to me) it sounds elitest, like I'm professional and you aren't. It would be good in regards to hacking, i.e. Professional Hacker since it would distingish the guys in the basement vs the ones how make a legitimate living. My two cents, take it for what it is worth.
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don

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Post Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:04 pm

Re: Titles & Names

Oh, I see what you're saying. To be clear, I also don't like it in an official title either. I was referring to using it in speaking, writing, etc.

So I guess we agree.  ;D

Don
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Artful Dodger

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Post Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Titles & Names

I am officially going with "Bit Pimp"
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timmedin

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Post Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:13 pm

Re: Titles & Names

don wrote:Oh, I see what you're saying. To be clear, I also don't like it in an official title either. I was referring to using it in speaking, writing, etc.

So I guess we agree.  ;D

Don

Yeah, sorry, not clear. Within our people it makes sense, outside it sounds weird.
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