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Firewall, the Movie: Hollywood’s Idea of a Perimeter Test

Feb 01, 20062 mins
FirewallsIT Leadership

Harrison Ford plays the CISO role

Call it a step up for CSOs. Historically, Hollywood thrillers have depicted security executives as evil tools of corrupt corporate regimes (remember Wilford Brimley’s nasty turn tormenting Tom Cruise in The Firm?). Now, this month, Warner Bros. releases Firewall, a thriller starring Harrison Ford as Jack Stanfield, a CISO. Stanfield is a trusted, top-ranking executive at Seattle-based Landrock Pacific Bank, a man who “has built his career and reputation on designing the most effective antitheft computer systems in the industry, protecting the bank’s financial holdings from the constant threat of increasingly sophisticated Internet hackers with his complex network of tracers, access codes and firewalls.”

The good news: Stanfield has a lucrative job, a beautiful architect wife (Virginia Madsen, from Sideways) and two very cute kids.

The bad news: An ace techno-villain (played by Paul Bettany) electronically stalks Stanfield, his family and Landrock Pacific’s computer systems as part of a plot to bilk the bank and make it look like Stanfield’s fault.

The preview ( offers a few characteristic tidbits about the conflict and its resolution. Ford recalls his role as president in Air Force One as he portrays Stanfield taking matters into his own hands, telling the bad guy in so many words to get off his network.