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3 Reasons Cybersecurity Professionals Should Read 'The President is Missing'

3A new thriller recently hit the market, co-written by James Patterson and Bill Clinton. The President is Missing: A Novel is a page-turner, according to many reviews. Author James Patterson is known for his thrillers and his books have sold more than 375 million copies worldwide. Author Bill Clinton was the President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Amazon shows that 133 customer reviews have it rated for a total of 4 ½ stars out of 5 stars.

Cybersecurity professionals should read this book for 3 reasons. While thrillers or the authors may not be an attraction to many people, the tale is worth reflection.

Reason 1: The core theme is a cybersecurity threat of a massive degree. It is fiction, but the best stories often have many points based in reality. International players are involved, geeks are involved, and politicians are involved. Greed is there, as well as power in many configurations. It can spur conversations and increase awareness about the possible outcomes of cyber-attacks. It demonstrates that a cyber-attack is now becoming a mainstream topic.

Reason 2: Strong women appear in many roles, including a cybersecurity ethical hacker/genius. While the character is rather stereotyped, she plays a strong, positive role. Amazon’s ranking for this book after about 1 week in print is #2 in women’s adventure.

Reason 3: The book is both entertaining (remember, it is fiction) and educational (yeah, much of the stuff could happen). There are some interesting takeaways on how to explain cyber threats and Internet of Things risks to non-cybersecurity people.

The book is patriotic, rather than party specific political. It is timely, in the sense it discusses severe strife along implied party lines and lack of tolerance. It references goals that are intrinsic to the beliefs of many Americans. Regardless of the reader’s political beliefs, readers will be hopefully educated by both the scenario of a massive cybersecurity threat and the catastrophic damage it could do to America and to the world.

Ironically, the capital of Oregon suffered a water quality alert, akin to a scenario in the book, the week before the book was released. The water advisory was for vulnerable people (and pets). Although the cause was not a cyber-attack, nor was it of the potential magnitude implied in the book, it was eerie enough to reflect on what long term damage to a basic service implies for a community. And if you don’t have your 2 weeks of emergency water stored, you might want to do so after reading this book.

About the Author - Carolyn Schrader is a seasoned cybersecurity professional and founder of the Cyber Security Group Inc., providing corporate cybersecurity services to high profile clients.

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