According to pop culture\u2019s portrayal of cybersecurity, the industry is hot property. Hacks and breaches not only dominate the real-world media, but they can be seen everywhere in TV and movies today.Granted, there have been some early examples of security issues playing a role in pop culture plot lines, such as the 1980s cult-classic Tron. But in recent years, Hollywood seems to have really picked up the mantle when it comes to cybersecurity. If the bright lights of TV and movies are to be believed, hackers are simultaneously the coolest and scariest people on the planet.Let\u2019s take a look at five of the most common cybersecurity misperceptions as portrayed in TV shows and movies:1)\u00a0A day at the office is like an action movie:\u00a0In pop culture, IT security tends to be portrayed as a fast-paced industry with our cyber heroes forever confronting life-and-death scenarios.The Hollywood TakeIn the movie \u201cBlackhat,\u201d Actor Chris Hemsworth, who plays a hacker, tries to track down the film\u2019s villain and, in the process, ends up engaging in fist-fights, shootouts and general \u2018badassery\u2019 that would put the Special Forces to shame.Even when fists or bullets aren\u2019t being traded, hacking is never a slow affair devoid of adrenaline. For example, in the TV series \u201cScorpion,\u201d an airplane is rebooted in flight by dropping a cable down and plugging it into the laptop of a fast moving car.RealityA day for most real cybersecurity pros is admittedly much more mundane. Many hours are dedicated to meetings, conference calls and reporting. Typically, the most action cybersecurity professionals get is a heated exchange on a forum.2)\u00a0Hackers are loners:\u00a0Hollywood tends to rely on a stereotypical hacker persona \u2013 loners and \u201csuper geeks\u201d working alone in their parents\u2019 basement.The Hollywood TakeRami Malek playing the role of Elliot Anderson on \u201cMr. Robot\u201d is the latest incarnation of hackers being portrayed as loners who are isolated from society. But he\u2019s far from the only hacker who is depicted in this way. In \u201cThe Matrix,\u201d Keanu Reeves\u2019 character, Thomas Anderson, is portrayed as having no real friends or family, prior to embarking on his mission. And Sandra Bullock\u2019s character, Angela Bennett, in \u201cThe Net\u201d is a lone software engineer who works from home and whose only form of friendship is via online chats.RealityWith security becoming an increasingly popular profession, this archetype is beginning to feel antiquated. Most cybersecurity professionals are well-adjusted and perfectly social members of society.3)\u00a0Cyberattacks are mysteries that are easily planned \u2013 and solved:\u00a0Fictional cyberattacks exist as a way to move plots forward, so they are planned and solved a lot faster than they are in the real world.The Hollywood TakeIn the much-loved movie \u201cOffice Space,\u201d the protagonists want to make some money. In one short scene, they create a \u2018virus\u2019 that can steal a fraction of a cent from every transaction. Planning an effective cyberattack that will net them a tidy sum proves to be no sweat for this crew.On the flipside, no problem is too big that it can\u2019t easily be solved by our plucky protagonist. In the movie \u201cFirewall,\u201d Harrison Ford\u2019s character is informed of an attack against the bank\u2019s infrastructure. With a few clicks, he changes some rules in a production environment and puts an end to the fiend\u2019s devilish plans.The only thing limiting a hacker in TV shows and movies is the writers\u2019 imagination. Need to plan a quick escape? There\u2019s sure to be a hacker in the ragtag group of rogues \u2013 \u00e0 la \u201cThe Italian Job\u201d \u2013 that can hack into a city\u2019s traffic management system to manipulate the traffic lights.RealityIn actuality, planning a sophisticated cyberattack can take malicious criminals a very long time. And\u00a0conducting an investigation to determine what happened can take even longer \u2013 months or even years. Many times, such attacks are never solved.\u00a04)\u00a0Everything happens in real-time:\u00a0Movies and TV shows often depict cyberattacks as events that unfold violently on a computer screen right before the hero\u2019s eyes.\u00a0The Hollywood TakeThe perfect example of this? Take a look at\u00a0this unintentionally hilarious clip\u00a0from \u201cNCIS.\u201dIn the movie \u201cSwordfish,\u201d Hugh Jackman\u2019s character has 60 seconds to hack into a machine, all while John Travolta is holding a gun to his head.And who could forget Q\u2019s infamous words from the Bond movie \u201cSkyfall\u201d: \u201cWhenever I try to gain access, it changes. It's like solving a Rubik's Cube that\u2019s fighting back.\u201dRealityReal life intrusions\u00a0\u2013\u00a0at least those that are effective\u00a0\u2013\u00a0often happen quietly under the radar without the victim's knowledge. In fact, victims may not find out about a breach until months or years down the road. Similarly, defending corporate infrastructure doesn\u2019t happen in real-time, and it's definitely not a function of how fast you can type.\u00a0Most effective defense tactics are deployed in advance.\u00a05) Hackers are always geniuses and technical masterminds: Convoluted security jargon? Check. Flawless expertise of endless software and systems? Check. Yes, in Hollywood, every hacker is a prodigy.The Hollywood TakeIn \u201cEnemy of the State,\u201d Edward Lyle (Brill) was the genius hacker mastermind, portrayed by Gene Hackman (no pun intended), who could outwit, outsmart and outhack the NSA.In the TV shows \u201cArrow\u201d and \u201cThe Flash,\u201d Felicity Smoak and Cisco Ramon are respective members of the team that can hack their way out of any problem. Tracking bad guys, borrowing satellite feeds and monitoring every CCTV in the city? No problem. But which one of the two is the best hacker in the world?One of the most iconic evil computer geniuses ever to grace the screen is probably Eugene Belford in the Angelina Jolie-starring movie \u201cHackers.\u201d On top of that, anyone with the handle \u201cThe Plague\u201d is sure to mean business.RealityThe painful reality is that, today, anyone can easily become a successful cybercriminal. \u201cCybercrime-as-a-service\u201d providers host cybercrime toolkits in the cloud and offer access on a subscription basis, making it easier than ever for anyone \u2013 even individuals with minimal security knowledge \u2013 to plan and execute attacks. These providers run their operations just like regular businesses, even going so far as to provide support and training materials to increase attackers\u2019 chances of success.Director\u2019s TakeNow that we\u2019ve thoroughly discussed how horribly cybersecurity is portrayed in TV shows and movies, let\u2019s take a moment to look at the upside of the situation. Having cybersecurity included in so many Hollywood plot lines \u2013 as bad as the depictions may be \u2013 still goes a long way toward generating awareness that this is a real issue \u2013 and one that isn\u2019t going away anytime soon. The portrayals may not be worthy of an Emmy or Golden Globe, but if these TV shows and films can convince even one consumer or business to pay more attention to security issues and take preventative protection measures, then that\u2019s a win in my book\u2026or should I say movie.