Meet the 9-year-old IT security guru: Ruben Paul

OK people: prepare to feel inadequate…
Let me introduce you to Reuben Paul, a 9-year-old Texan who shows a keener IT security sense than the average adult. 
What if I told you he was CEO of Prudent Games, a company that develops apps to educate other kids about IT security? And did I mention that he also has a black belt in Kung-fu? 
The 9-year-old straight-A student, nicknamed RAP-star, founded Prudent Games in 2014. Focused on helping kids around the world understand the importance of computer security, Ruben Paul has been creating and publishing education apps. The Prudent Games website now boasts three apps, though only CrackerProof seems to be currently available on the Apple app store.  
Cracker Proof “is an interactive app that aims at educating the user about how to build a strong password. It is primarily aimed to teach kids about what it takes to build a strong hacker-proof password, but it could be used within schools and companies to educate their workforce as well,” explains the website. 
Ruben Paul's latest blog post talks about why he hasn’t released any recent apps, blaming the demands of grade three studies, speaking engagements and setting up his non-profit Cyber Shaolin, to “educate and equip the current and next generation with cybersecurity and technology knowledge and skills, empowering them to create a safe and secure cyber world.”
Paul’s family background is, unsurprisingly, rather familiar with cyber security. His dad, Mano Paul, is a member of the (ISC)2 Application Security Advisory Council and author of the Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CSSLP® CBK®.
Brilliant and driven people like Ruben Paul awake a sense of possibility and responsibility, something this industry needs to be reminded of. While new innovative security solutions are launched regularly, there seems to be a general malaise that we will never win the good fight. 
In fact, a recent Information Age post talks about why IT security needs a rebrand. The gist is this: many employees see security as something that is annoying, blocking them from efficiently getting from A to B. 
To my mind, the missing ingredient to effectively protecting our data and systems from unauthorised access is IT security education. The weakest point in our security posture are the people who don't understand how vital their part is in protecting the network and company against attack. Perhaps, welcoming new, fresh voices to the fold, like that of Ruben Paul’s, is exactly what we need to shake things up. 

-Carole Theriault
Consultant, AKJ Associates.

Tags: Ruben Paul Cyber security Prudent Games security 9-year-old
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