Black Hat 2021 Volume One: Not the Show We’re Used to… But the Show We Need


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Elijah Snow: It's a strange world

Jakita Wagner: Let's keep it that way"

-- Planetary: Warren Ellis & John Cassaday

Black Hat 2021 was unlike any other previous edition and likely will be unlike any that follow. The rise of the Delta Variant of COVID-19 put the world back on edge after we had been slowly creeping toward something that felt like normalcy. When the show was announced, the cybersecurity industry rejoiced as this meant it was time to really get back to how we had been doing things… that meant Black Hat and DEFCON.

Delta decided to throw us a curve and as a result, many companies, SMEs and potential attendees made the informed decision to skip this year’s show out of justifiable concerns about the repurcussions of their attendance.

Some of us made the informed decision to take the risk, do the needful and attend Black Hat 2021 in person. It was hot. Like… for real hot… one day was 119F. However, we would not be deterred from getting out there and squeezing the Black Hat fruit for all the juice we could get. For sure, it was smaller than usual. Far fewer vendors, far fewer in-person sessions, far fewer attendees… and while they aren’t nearly as relevant… the parties and events still carried on, albeit in smaller and COVID-responsible fashion.

There were some great things that came out of attending Black Hat in person. In no way does this cast aspersions upon those who chose not to attend for whatever reason. If you could not be there, we worked to bring the kinds of conversations that we have all been a part of or overheard in previous shows. We’re going to get back to it. And our industry will be better and stronger for the lessons we have learned over the past 19 months.

For Episode One of our Black Hat coverage, we spoke with a range of cybersecurity professionals to get they takes on a myriad of topics.

Scott Scheferman: Chief Strategist at Eclypsium

Mike Bova: Enterprise Account Executive at Acronis

Cameron Zink: Manager of Technology Infrastructure at Campbell Global

Shaun Walsh: Vice President Product Marketing at SecurityScorecard Mackenzie Kyle: Head of Product and Rohith Kondeti: Forward Deployed Engineer; both at Anvilogic

This week’s No Name Security Podcast is a mixtape of interviews Matt Stephenson conducted live on the show floor at Black Hat 2021. We run the gamut from hardcore security for firmware, to personnel management for first-time managers to the role of backup/recovery in a security posture to the evolution of SOC analysts out into the world of product development and customer facing engineering. There was still a LOT of action at Black Hat 2021, even if it was radically different from previous years… dig it!

About Matt Stephenson

Matt Stephenson (@packmatt73) leads the Social Media team at Forescout, which puts me in front of people all over the world. Prior to joining Forescout, I hosted podcasts, videos and live events all over the world which put me with experts on every corner of the cybersecurity landscape. The new No Name Security Podcast will continue and expand upon that tradition as we seak out the leading minds in the security industry as well as those may break things every now again. And… just for fun, there will be some wildcard guests as well.

In 10 years in the ecosystem of Data Protection and Cybersecurity I have toured the world extolling the virtues of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and how, when applied to information security, these technologies can wrong-foot the bad guys. Prior to the COVID shutdown, I was on the road over 100 days a year doing live malware demonstrations for audiences from San Diego to DC to London to Abu Dhabi to Singapore to Sydney. One of the funniest things I've ever been a part of was blowing up a live instance of NotPetya 6 hours after the news broke... in Washington DC... directly across the street from FBI HQ... as soon as we activated it a parade of police cars with sirens blaring roared past the building we were in. I'm pretty sure they weren't there for us, but you never know...

Whether at in person events, live virtual events or podcasting, I get to interview interesting people doing interesting things all over the world of cybersecurity and the extended world of hacking. Sometimes, that means hacking elections or the coffee supply chain... other times that means social manipulation or the sovereign wealth fund of a national economy.

Wherever I go, my job is all about talking with the people who build, manage or wreck the systems that we have put in place to make the world go round...

If you tuned in to any of my previous podcasts, there’s great news! The No Name Security Podcast is here! I will be bringing the same kind of energy and array of guests you know and love. Best part? We’re still at the same spot. You can find it at Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music & Audible as well as, GooglePlay, Gaana, Himalaya, I Heart Radio and wherever you get your podcasts!

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