What Do Star Wars’ Kylo Ren and Data Privacy Have in Common?

Posted on by RSAC Editorial Team

*Warning this post or embedded links may contain spoilers*

Note: This is part one of a five-part monthly series to kick off 2018 in which we take a look at characters from Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi and how technology, topics, and trends from the cybersecurity world compare to characters and themes from the blockbuster film. 

We hope you enjoy our blog series as the Rebellion, filled with hope and determination, much like that of a Security Operations Center, scurries to stay one step ahead of the evil First Order. Like cyber attackers, the First Order threatens to destroy a way of life that the Rebellion so desperately fights to cherish and uphold. 

January’s Spotlight Character: Kylo Ren (Ben Solo)
January’s Spotlight Theme: Data Privacy

Happy New Year! Hope most of you were able enjoy some time off, stay digitally safe and share some laughs and holiday cheer with loved ones. The holiday season always proves to be a lucrative time in the movie business and we hope you ended 2017 managing to drag yourself (or others) to see Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, as it has reached $1.1 Billion in revenue and counting worldwide. 

This month’s spotlight from the blockbuster film focuses on Ben Solo, known as Kylo Ren, and an integral part of the First Order. 

It’s a muddled mix of family lineage between the dark side and the light side of the force:

  • Kylo’s grandfather was Anakin Skywalker (commonly known as Darth Vader, the infamous masked villain in Episodes IV, V and VI) who was also Luke Skywalker’s father.
  • Vader was ultimately brought back from the dark side by the faith Luke had in his father’s long forgotten, but inherent goodness. Luke’s twin sister, General Leia Organa and the galactic universe’s favorite bad boy pilot, Han Solo, had an offspring, Ben Solo.
  • Young Solo was then mentored by his Uncle Luke who felt the dual and conflicting nature of the force in his young charge, and was unable to keep First Order leader Snoke from turning him to the dark side where he took the name Kylo Ren. 

Follow me there? Kylo wears a knockoff version of grandpa’s mask to try and follow in Vader’s footsteps, but feels the constant conflict of good vs. evil brewing in him throughout Episode VIII. 

Similarly, there is no black and white, cut and dry, clear lines or simple answers when it comes to data privacy.  With the impending GDPR mandates looming in the EU, many are deciding whether these new regulations are force for good or another barrier to business. However, there is no doubt GDPR will dominate the headlines in 2018. 

Is it just a matter of taking the proper steps to get compliant? There is a large amount of uncertainty and confusion about what lies ahead. But, the most forward looking and well-prepared companies have likely moved past the checklist mindset to considering the potential opportunities that lie beyond compliance. Part of the focus is also shifting to consideration that more countries around the world are likely to adopt GDPR like regulations of their own in the future. 

Speaking of uncertainty…an internal battle churns within Kylo for much of Episode VIII and in a surprising twist, he strikes down Snoke in order to save Rey, a young Jedi in training who opposes him though they share an undeniable connection, but what’s next? 

He gets power hungry like his grandfather did in Episode V, asking Rey to join him in ruling the universe, and is promptly spurned as she selflessly returns to the action to save the band of rebels and the last remaining handful of loyalists the Rebellion has left. 

So, which Kylo are we going to see in Episode IX in 2019? The dark or the light? Well that remains to be seen. And as we know, characters (just like data privacy) have a way of continuing to evolve in new and unexpected ways. In the meantime, we will have a much quicker answer surrounding GDPR regulation. In a matter of months, once enforcement kicks-in, there will be stories of success and failure, cautions, unexpected complications and lessons learned. It will be an anxious, but exciting time as GDPR goes into effect and we begin to see what the ripple effect look like. 

You can find some prophetic words from Luke during an intense battle scene that is a lesson for Kylo and can also be applied to those who think they know for certain what is to come in the data privacy world. Stay tuned via our RSA Conference Newsletters! Sign up here: Link

RSAC Editorial Team

Editorial, RSA Conference



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