Data security is a very real issue that we have to deal with in the real world, but it’s also an issue that plagues the fictional world of movies. Charlotte Williams, marketing & PR manager at Shredall SDS Group, explores some of the famous movie plots that could have easily been solved if they just had good data security.
Would the Rebel Alliance have stood a chance against the Empire had the plans to the Death Star required several stages of verification to access? Would James Bond have placed the world at risk by not properly shredding the hard drive containing sensitive information in Skyfall?
In some of the most celebrated films in cinematic history, things go wrong for the characters because of their lack of decent data security measures. Is there anything that they could have done differently? If so, what can we learn from this hapless bunch?
In this article, we’ll take a look at examples of famous films – some more obvious than others – that would have ended differently if the characters had protected their private information. This post will also provide practical tips on how you can avoid making the same data security mistakes as these characters.
Much of the film series revolves around the Rebels attempting to piece together information that will help them map out the plans to the Death Star. During a number of missions, the Rebels manage to steal documents from the Empire that outline details of the Death Star’s structure.
Combining several blueprints together, the Rebels manage to produce a copy of the plans that are stored on R2-D2 by Princess Leia in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. R2-D2 escapes to Tattoine and retains the plans on behalf of the Rebel Alliance.
This enables the Rebels to destroy the first Death Star at the end of the film, taking advantage of a structural flaw that was revealed by the plans. Had the plans been stored more securely, none of this would have been possible and the Death Star may not have been destroyed by the Rebels.
But how can your business protect its own Death Star plans from being stolen? When storing sensitive business files in a digital format, it’s vital to choose file archiving software that’s hosted from a secure data centre and requires users to provide multi-factor verification before granting access.
The Wolf of Wall Street
If Jordan Belfort had destroyed his note to Donnie Azoff, then it would not have fallen into the hands of the FBI towards the end of the film. The note reads: “I’m wearing a wire, don’t say anything incriminating”.
Jordan’s lax approach to data security is ultimately his downfall, as the note is then used against him in court during his prosecution. Perhaps his sentence would have been less harsh had this evidence not been available.
But what can we learn from Jordan’s mishap? For one thing, it’s clear that he should have destroyed the incriminating note. Whilst your business won’t be harbouring illicit information like Jordan, it’s a good idea to have your outdated files shredded. This can help you to avoid your company’s commercially sensitive data falling into competitors’ hands.
Last but not least on our list of data security films plots is Skyfall. Part of the film’s plot centres on a hard drive that contains sensitive information about a group of NATO agents.
Raoul Silva, the villain of the film, has this compromising hard drive in his possession and threatens to release the data it contains online. In the conclusion of the film, Bond manages to track Silva down and recover the hard drive, eliminating the threat of the agents being exposed.
The consequences of this hard drive not being recovered could have been drastic, threatening the lives of many agents. But what if the hard drive had not been properly shredded after the end of the film? Perhaps the sensitive data could then have been recovered by other villainous characters in the future.
Most businesses don’t have the luxury of enlisting 007 to track down their hard drives when they fall into the wrong hands. If your company decides to update its computer systems, make sure that the data stored on any old hard drives are properly destroyed – the only surefire way to achieve this is through shredding.