Security Pros Pick Their Favorite Superheroes & Supervillains

Fans of the Cybersecurity Effectiveness Podcast know that at the conclusion of each interview I ask my guests who their favorite superhero or supervillain is. We’ve gotten some really diverse answers to that question over the last 18 months, and I think you’ll find that the responses are emblematic of the diversity of our industry. One of the many things this series has shown us is there are so many unique career paths in cybersecurity – a good portion of our guests found themselves entranced by security while pursuing a different career entirely.

Since we first started this podcast series in mid-2018, we’ve recorded 70 podcasts. So, I thought it would be fun and interesting to aggregate the superhero and supervillain results across those 70 podcasts. About half of these podcasts haven’t aired yet, but you’ll be able to find them all in early 2020.

Fun fact: all the episodes that will be released in 2020 feature influential women in cybersecurity. From founders and CEOs, professors, government policy makers, and lawyers, to venture capitalists, students, reverse engineers, and CISOs, we have an amazing group of women discussing a wide range of cybersecurity topics. Topics include Experimental Psychology for Cybersecurity, Hacking Pacemakers, Hacking Automobiles, Cyber 911, Women in STEM, Reputation Risk, Red Teaming, and many others.

Diversity is such an important factor to have when discussing experience and perspective. As we all know, female presence and leadership in cybersecurity, though slightly better than a decade ago, is lacking. Verodin is thrilled to be contributing to the movement with our all-female batch of episodes coming soon!

Most Popular Picks

We’ve been fortunate to have guests with a broad range of ages on the show. Our youngest guest is only 12 years old, and we have several guests with over three decades of experience in cybersecurity. Here’s some quick data on what our guests of all ages picked.

  • Captain Marvel, Batman, and Iron Man tied for first place with five votes each.
  • Superman was a strong second with four votes.
  • Wonder Woman and Deadpool tied for third with three votes each.
  • Elastigirl (from The Incredibles), Shuri (from Black Panther), Captain America, and Dr. Strange all received two votes, each placing them in fourth place.
  • The other 37 picks were all unique.
The Super Stack-Up

Hero vs. Villain

“Who is your favorite superhero or super villain and why?” Besides just being a fun question to ask, it also echoes an underlying theme that drives the cyber industry to keep evolving: good versus evil. Red team versus blue team. Hackers versus the defenders. That choice in how we use our talents and skills is so powerful.

When we asked our guests their favorite character, 90% of guests chose a hero while only 10% chose a villain.

Hero vs Villain: The Road to Victory

Marvel vs. DC vs. Other

While most guests of the Cybersecurity Effectiveness Podcast chose characters from Marvel or DC, some chose characters from Disney movies and TV shows, children’s books, and other sources. We even got some real-life heroes, such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sarah Blakely, and Greta Thunberg, into the mix!

Time to take sides (but you don't have to)

Male vs. Female

The breakdown between male and female heroes and villains was pretty evenly divided.  In some cases, a mixed gender men and women team were chosen, such as was the case with the Wonder Twins from The All-New Super Friends Hour.

All Selections

One of the most interesting findings was that out of the 47 superheroes and supervillains picked across the 70 podcast interviews, only 10 were picked multiple times. The other 37 were unique choices. As seen in the graphic below, the choices were as varied as the diverse individuals that make up the cybersecurity industry.

Happy holidays, and be sure to check out the Cybersecurity Effectiveness Podcast, sponsored by Verodin, now part of FireEye.

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