What can we learn about security from Iron Man 3?

What can we learn about security from Iron Man 3?

During this long period of lockdowns and quarantines we’ve all had to dig deep to come up with indoor activities.  One of mine has been a commitment to watch the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  What follows is an exploration of the gross security malpractice evidenced by Tony Stark and Stark Industries’ Head of Security, Happy Hogan.

Limiting Your Exposure To Risk... Or Not

There’s no question that Tony has access to the latest and greatest technology, primarily because he is creating it himself.  But the entire plot of Marvel’s 2013 film Iron Man 3 hinges on his exposure to some serious security flaws.  Now, don’t get us wrong, at Quill we love the MCU and generally every film in it, but it is with love that criticize what may be Tony’s largest gap in safety on screen.

The story revolves around Stark’s response to terrorist attacks, in which he taunts the terrorists and reveals his home address in the process.  Mandarin, the film’s inciting villain, then sends a small force of military gunships to his home to destroy it.  Stark and his love interest Pepper Potts, both survive the attack and he escapes with a new experimental Iron Man suit, setting forth the events that comprise the rest of the movie.

Mistakes Were Made

When we consider limiting exposure to risks, it is generally accepted in the Security Community that openly inviting adversaries and then providing your contact information is what we call a “bad move”.  

And after instigating a threat to his safety, Stark still drank deep of his hubris, completely ignoring the wide swath of options at his disposal.  Could he…

  • Monitor various early warning signals, such as radar and visual detection systems?
  • Increase screening on mail and packages to detect explosives or poisons?
  • Erect a panic room option that quickly shields him from danger?
  • Activate the large array of other autonomous Iron Man suits to respond to the threat?

We think that yes, he could have.

A helicopter attacks Stark's home
We did mention it was a "bad move", right?

Jarvis, meet Quill

Modern security continually rises to meet modern threats, but even the best of us could use a tool to help identify and close these security gaps that expose us to greater risk.  With Quill, Tony could have:

  • Identified the gaps in his Security Program that leave him most vulnerable to the various kinds of attacks.
  • Adjust his facility’s Risk Profile to show an increased risk of Shooting, Arson, Assault, and Kidnapping.
  • Discovered his most vulnerable locations using proven algorithms to increase protection for his high valued Assets.
  • Scoped and planned his next steps to building a more comprehensive Security Program.

We Don't Have Access To Iron Man Suits.... Yet...

While a conservative estimate on when we all might have Iron Man suits is somewhere in the “decades” region, we are happy to provide Security Professionals with Quill right now.  

And we’d love to show you how it works.  Sign up for a quick demo of the application, and help us build safer communities together.