CHAPTER 9Experiencing a Culture of Security

I think that my office is too soft with cybersecurity. If someone really wanted to, I think they could obtain sensitive information easily by tricking unaware employees or through unprotected company networks.

Respondent, McAfee Online Ethnographic Study

As I begin writing this chapter, I do so from the most unnatural of places that has become strangely familiar to me—roughly 35,000 feet above the earth’s surface in a tube weighing more than 50 tons and traveling nearly 450 miles per hour. I’m en route from Tampa to Dallas after a long weekend of visiting family. Travel for me has become ordinary. I’m not one to consider myself a road warrior by most definitions of the phrase, but I still easily log more than 100,000 miles in a year—worthy enough to earn elite traveler status from my preferred airline to make the routine a bit more bearable.

Even though I’m struck by just how mundane travel has become in my life, I still consider myself a bit of a nervous traveler. For instance, leading up to a trip, I fixate on what I’ll pack for the visit (whatever it is and for however long the trip, it must fit in an airline-approved carry-on suitcase, since checking baggage is simply out of the question). On the day of travel, I check for my identification, wallet, and cell phone several times before I leave for the airport. (I have a healthy dose of anxiety that I’ll arrive at the security checkpoint only to find I’ve left one of these essentials ...

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