James Bond by Day, Alien Hunter by Night

Job Misconceptions! In a recent conversation with my mother, she tried to get a handle on what I’m currently doing for a living. In the past she’s thought I was an Investment Banker (I was in my company’s share save scheme), a Wine Master Sommelier (I sold wine to a duty-free retailer) and a Bowling Alley Shoe Issuer (ok she got me on that one). Now I’ve recently moved jobs (and countries) and started working in Cyber Security Marketing so I didn’t know where to start in response to her question.

It made me wonder, what misconceptions other people had about their jobs in Cyber Security? We asked some of our colleagues in the industry…here’s is a roundup of our favourites:


Yaz | eCrime Senior Threat Researcher, Fidelis | @itsmalware

The strangest misconception I get is that because I do reverse engineering, some people think that I take apart alien software at Area 51!

I’ve heard that so many times now I just go with it because at this point why not?!

Tom Condrasky| VP Business Development, Cybrary | @tomc_cybrary

Tom Condrasky job misconceptions

One of the biggest misconceptions about me and my role at Cybrary is that I do not have a cybersecurity background.  When I joined Cybrary I had to learn two industries – cybersecurity / IT and the education industry / online learning.  I had to wing it at first!

Anastasios Arampatzis | Cyber Security Writer | @TassosAramp

Anastasios Arampatzis

One of the biggest misconceptions others have about the job I do is that they believe I must have a Facebook account. Nope. They seem like they are seeing an alien when I tell them that I don’t. Cybersecurity isn’t about having a Facebook account. It is about protecting the user of any social media, any computer system, either at home or at work.

Kim Crawley

Kim Crawley | Cyber Security Blogger | @kim_crawley

I’m a professional cybersecurity blogger. The biggest misconception people have about my job is that I have some sort of secret knowledge. My research all entails publicly available information. It comes from sources like vulnerability reports, vendor press releases, other cybersecurity news sites, academic studies, and people I know in the industry who answer my questions. My human sources would never give me classified or NDA-protected information. My job is more like spending hours at the library than doing James Bond work. Sorry to disappoint.

Kim Brown | Senior Marketing Manager, Duo Security | @kimberleymb

I think that people in other departments often don’t realize how time-sensitive / deadline-driven marketing is. There are usually deadlines based on events and dates that we can’t move if something gets delayed in production.

cindy valladres job misconceptions

Cindy Valladres | Corporate Comms Expert | @cindyv

One of the biggest myths about marketing is that positioning is easy! I am convinced the people who believe this have never had to craft a statement about a product/solution that is compelling, differentiated, without buzzwords and succinct. It must solve an unmet need in the market and easily understood by your sales force so they can be successful!

Bev Robb

Bev Robb | Infosec Writer, Editor and Thought Leader | @teksquisite

The belief that I merely post content to a company’s social media channels.

It’s not quite that simple! I also must pay close attention to new trends, have strong creativity skills (both text & graphics), have impeccable copywriting skills, and have a keen eye for design. I must align SEO w/ social media strategy, keep tabs on competitors, and monitor brand reputation too. What’s more, I must utilize the most effective social media tools, and though I have 101 other skills I must tap into each day —the goal is to communicate the company’s vision while making their social streams shine.

Graham Cluley

Graham Cluley | Computer Security Expert, Writer, and Keynote Speaker | @gcluley

People think I must have had a shady past, wear a hoody all the time, listen to death metal, and have a laptop covered in stickers.

Truth is I stumbled into this industry after university, I’m wearing an Oxford shirt with cufflinks, listening to Joni Mitchell, and my laptop cover is pink with cartoon donuts.

Joe Pettit

Joe Pettit | Director, Bora Cyber Security Marketing | @joepettit2

One of the biggest misconceptions about my work is that I spend most of my day looking at social media.

Social media is actually only about 10-15% of what I do, and a lot of that time is invested in managing advertising campaigns! I spend most of my days reading blog content, working on new article ideas, keeping up with the latest trends, cultivating relationships, chasing writers to complete tasks, and investing my time in helping reach those business critical targets on other activities such as SEO, lead generation, strategy and reporting.

Ian Thornton-Trump

Ian Thornton-Trump | Head of Cyber Security, AM Trust International | @phat_hobbit

One of the biggest misconceptions about a high-level cybersecurity role in enterprise is that I can actually fix a security problem! I can’t. What I can do is work really hard at bringing people together and explain the issue in clear terms – so many teams will need to be involved in fixing a problem. Then I need to facilitate a discussion on how we can address the problem and agree on a time frame for fixing the problem – how quickly it gets done is a result of how clear I was explaining. Infrastructure challenges, end of life systems and vulnerable web applications take time, effort and “not my” resources to fix. If it’s a big problem, it needs change approval – maybe even a full-scale project. Ultimately, my cybersecurity role is mostly about clear communications and bold leadership. It’s not to say you don’t need a technical background – you do but, to be successful you need to be good at planning, strategy and communications.

Ellen Drazen job misconceptions

Ellen Drazen | Content & External Communication Manager, Belden | @EVDrazen

My favorite misconception about my job comes from my little sister who said, “So, do you just play on Twitter all day?”

We would love to hear your take – tweet us at @welcometobora and share your #jobmisconceptions

And if you are interested in a career of cybersecurity marketing take a look at our latest jobs board.

James Bond by Day, Alien Hunter by Night
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