For the past few weeks I’ve been drawing comparisons between Ferris Beuller’s Day Off and data protection, and how this movie details a number of techniques that are used in cyber security and privacy. In this last instalment we’ll reach a little and “milk the metaphor” a bit, but all in good fun! Be sure to check out part 1 and part 2.

Intrusion Prevention

The Bueller’s rottweiler can be seen as quite an effective Intrusion Prevention System for the household. Mr Rooney had managed to discover a vulnerability (the pet door) and gained access through it – however their dog was waiting on the other side. What follows was a back and forward of Rooney trying to get past the IPS in order to gain access.

Much like in real life, their pup was not infallible, and so too can an IPS be fooled or defeated. It’s important to rely on more than one approach in protecting your environment.

Red Team Blue Team

The drive back to the house, with Jeanie racing in the car and Ferris jumping over fences can be seen as the kind of battle that Red Teams and Blue Teams go through. These are formalised terms for defensive teams (Blue) that are charged with vulnerability assessments and defense, and offensive teams (Red) that are concerned with forcing their way into systems by means of penetration testing and other attack vectors. Effectively, Blue team needs to defend against Red team in a hacking game of cat and mouse.

Covering Tracks

The last thing that will happen as any part of a hack, is the act of covering tracks. Any hacker that compromises a system would be covering their tracks by deleting log files and other methodologies. The same cannot be said for Mr Rooney, who after all the ‘attacks’ is finally caught out by leaving his wallet behind in the house – a failure to cover his tracks.

That’s the end of this little fun series, I hope it has taught you a little more about an exciting industry (and a great movie)!



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