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Why Security Loves Hackers

Why Security Loves Hackers

Why Security Loves Hackers

At one time, the term “hacker” simply implied using technical knowledge to solve a problem creatively.

Now, it has evolved into a pejorative term which brings to mind bizarre mental images - attackers wearing gloves and masks or typing with a balaclava.

Let’s take a moment to clarify. Computer hackers are being inappropriately lumped together with criminals partaking in illegal activity. A hacker, as the original definition suggests, is more accurately described as any skilled expert using their technical knowledge to overcome a problem. Someone engaging in criminality using computers can be more correctly labeled a "cyber criminal.” Even more broadly, the term "threat actor" can be used to describe hacktivists and nation-states (among others) acting with malicious intent.

This is not just semantics. When we continue to use the word "hacker" in a negative way, it alienates the very same group of people who can help us: the curious tinkerers, the creative engineers, the devil’s advocates. The innovators critical to the evolution of our industry against threats. Used rightly, it is a badge of honor.

And some in the security industry are taking notice. People like Dustin Dykes from AT&T and Chris Roberts of LARES are making concerted efforts to avoid using the term "hacker" in a pejorative sense, and only use it in reference to someone doing something ingenious in the technical field. The endeavor to change the word is still small and may be difficult to achieve (because the rate of proliferation is higher than the rate of conversion). But it is incredibly important to reclaim the word because the cost of indifference is too high.

A little insurgency wouldn’t be a bad thing.

About Living Security


At Living Security, we reduce the #1 cybersecurity risk for enterprises, human error, through engaging and impactful security awareness training that is brought to life by innovative tech enabled experiences.


Living Security co-founders, Ashley and Drew Rose, recognized that traditional security awareness programs were failing to move the needle and it was time for a fresh approach. Our immersive training experiences engage the enterprise using science backed techniques to motivate behavior change and refreshed content that’s relevant for the current threat landscape.

Our Core Values

We strive to build a company that you are proud to come to work for everyday, and a team of people that you are excited to work with everyday.

Immersive Cyber Escape Room

Our innovative Cybersecurity Escape Room experience builds security awareness concepts into an engaging team experience people actually enjoy.  Watch the video here.

Customized Cybersecurity Training At Scale

Online security awareness training platform leverages game based learning and a custom curriculum to make cybersecurity awareness training fun and effective.


Our science-based approach drives user engagement and reinforces positive security behaviors across the enterprise.

Hosted Platform or SCORM Delivery

Our gamified training platform allows program owners to assign users training and track through completion and beyond. Our interactive video series are broken in to episodes that cover critical security awareness concepts through story based learning and interactive puzzles. Customize your program through the addition of role and concept specific micro-modules and incentivize completion through leaderboard challenges and rewards and recognition. Series and modules are also available in your SCORM packages for delivery on your LMS.

Gamified Learning

Training experiences are brought to life through engaging storylines that people actually enjoy.

Brain is 68% more engaged when you are having fun.

Immersive Experience

Our approach focuses on experiential learning that motivates participants to get engaged with relevant security concepts.

Science Backed

Our proven techniques engage participants, increase retention rate and motivate behavior change.

16x Increase in retention from experiential learning

Tech Enabled

Our tech-enabled platform makes managing and scaling the experience easy, allowing you to extend the reach of your security team.

Smart Analytics

Insightful metrics provide program owners with deep understanding of human risk within their organization and provides the tools to make the right changes.

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