Cybersecurity Revolutions: Educational Symbolism in The Matrix Trilogy

Symbolism in the Matrix Trilogy

Written by: CJ McGillivray

How can individuals and organizations combat dynamic and evolving cyber threats? The first step is to understand the circumstances, terminology and core concepts that define a strong cybersecurity defence. For anyone less familiar with the intricacies of cybersecurity, pop culture never fails to provide an easy and accessible point of access. Here is a breakdown of core programming metaphors and cybersecurity lessons from The Matrix Trilogy, written and directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski. Beneath the fascinating narrative and special effects, there are some powerful insights about the importance of investing in cybersecurity courses and certification training for yourself or your team members.

Functioning and Exiled Programs

The trilogy features several artificial characters and personifications of computer programs existing within the digital world and interact with users. There are core functioning programs that includes the Agents, the Architect, the Merovingian and the Oracle, among others. Additional supporting characters involve the exiled programs from which are no longer needed by the operating system. The Oracle describes the phenomenon of exiled programs in The Matrix Reloaded when she says that “maybe it breaks down, maybe a better program is created to replace it, happens all the time.” Exiled or deleted programs include the Keymaker, Persephone, Sati, Seraph and the Twins. These programs are coded as amoral, which is a brilliant reflection of how technologies can be used for good or nefarious purposes. The exiled programs also reflect the importance of ensuring best practices and cybersecurity protocols by updating all programs and software in your organization.

Antivirus Protection

Within the narrative, the archetypal Agents are antivirus programs that protect the world of the Matrix and the software behind it. They are antagonists towards the heroes, but the Agents are also a good reminder to make sure you have reliable virus protection software that reflects the changing needs of your organization and the evolving nature of cyber threats.

Authentication Protocols

Authentication, authorization and risk management are key learning components of security+ certification training. Why is authentication so vital? Your data is vulnerable, and a proper authentication process ensures that your valuable data stays within the company. If you need more convincingness, many characters in The Matrix Reloaded speak to the importance and validity of authentication protocols. The stoic and protective Seraph is an exiled program that personifies a Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP). Network Encyclopedia defines CHAP as “an encrypted authentication scheme in which the unencrypted password does not transmit over the network.” The process involves multiple steps and protects your data against the possibility of client impersonation happening remotely. In the storyline, Seraph engages in combat with Neo to ensure his identity before allowing him access to the Oracle. His presence underscores the importance of user authentication and multiple layers of defence. When Neo asks Seraph if he is a program, he says, “I protect that which matters most.” His concise response and functionality reflect the purpose of a systems or security administrator who has completed their Security+ Certification training.

Encryption Tools

The Keymaker is another authentication program in The Matrix Reloaded that plays a crucial role in navigating the program. His function is to create tokens of authentication, which are essentially metaphorical keys that can open doors to anywhere in the network. These encryptions are complex and add layers of defence, ensuring that only the right people gain access to sensitive data within your network. Consider his work in comparison to your robust cybersecurity team. The Keymaker provides encrypted keys to verified users, so they can activate a backdoor or alternate route of access within the software program. He gives access when it is needed and makes the impossible turn into the attainable.

Continuing education

The varied programming and cyber symbolism in The Matrix Trilogy is an excellent reminder of the importance of education. Perhaps you are brand new to cybersecurity or are feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of assembling a strong, qualified team and getting them the resources they need to succeed. You and your organization can still rise to meet the challenges of evolving cyber threats. Through a+ certification training, your team can build foundational knowledge of core information technologies such as data management and cloud computing. Taking one step further, Network+ training can enable your team to implement vital network security, standards, and protocols. Cysa+ certification training shows team members how to apply behavioural theories to combat threats and protect computer networks through clever reconnaissance techniques.

Further Resources

For more inspiration, check out the CompTIA blog titled Cybersecurity in Real Life vs. the Movies. Author and content developer Ashley Watters analyzes the Technological accuracy of hit films and television shows, including Mr. Robot, War Games, Live Free or Die Hard, and of course, The Matrix Reloaded. You can also browse through the Annex and Matrix Wiki online communities, which are both excellent depositories for further reading about the computer science symbolism in The Matrix Trilogy.