IBM Security Z Security

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Z! Escape Room

By Howard Hirsch posted Wed May 15, 2019 11:53 AM


While at the most recent SHARE conference, I was fortunate enough to try my luck at the Secure Z! Escape Room Experience. I was excited by the opportunity, as my daughters are escape room fanatics and have dragged me, uh I mean, encouraged me to join them in trying to solve the puzzles. Truthfully, I do really likes puzzles so I’m always game for this sort of thing.

Instead of the usual themes (diffuse a bomb, solve a mystery, escape the tomb) the IBM Systems team came up with this experience:

… participants play the roles of newly hired z/OS security professionals at the fictitious company, Mock-Up Services Enterprises (M.U.S.E.), investigating a possible insider threat to a massive data breach. It’s a fun mix of logic puzzles and security best practices on z/OS...

Bryan Childs, our escape room master, made it fun to go through the puzzles and made sure we didn’t get too frustrated or stuck. Just like my experience in other escape rooms, some of the puzzles were over my head and we needed Bryan’s hints to keep progressing forward.  We learned about how you can break into a Z system (it’s possible!) and the different ways to prevent that from happening.

All-in-all it was a fun way to spend an hour. If I have one gripe it’s that that the Z Escape Room is designed for 8-10 people and we had almost 30 there. Good thing it wasn’t in a tomb!


If you are at a conference and looking for some fun that’s educational, I highly recommend the Z Escape experience. You can even become a IBM Z Secure Engineering Game Master. See more details on the badge here.