Here’s What You Missed at BSides Las Vegas – Day 1

This year’s BSides in sunny Las Vegas, Nevada, is off to an amazing start, with an overwhelming crowd and a great lineup of presentations from some of the industry’s brightest – and most inspiring – professionals.In the biggest BSides LV event yet, hundreds of attendees gathered at the Tuscany bright and early – eagerly waiting to hear from experts in all things “cyber.”Below is a quick-read recap of some of the sessions I had the pleasure of attending today. Also, a special thanks to Kelly Kingman, our graphic artist, for creating these very cool visualizations of the talks in real-time.Up first was Wendy Nather, now Research Director at the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center, and Rob Graham, CEO of Errata Security. In their (Un)Keynote, the two argued valid points from both sides of the spectrum on how to get the world to take security seriously, including the growing concern of critical infrastructure protection, as well as the recent debate on stunt hacking.

Wendy Nather

Speaking Metrics to ExecutivesSpeaker: Michael St. Vincent (@JustOnePing)Michael gave an interesting presentation on the common tripping stone that is transforming the typical “geek numbers” into metrics that executives will understand and derive meaning from. Using good and bad examples, Michael stressed the importance of bringing forward the business issues that these metrics represent.Executives need quick value, so when you are presenting data – typically in the form of graphs – make sure to ask yourself these questions: Is this information actionable? Does it create a sense of urgency? Is it easy to understand? Is it trend-focused? And, is it an easy-to-see story?Michael St. Vincent

Michael St. Vincent

Michael reminded attendees that when the opportunity presents itself, we may only have a few minutes to get our point across to executives. He suggested reaching out to marketing or other colleagues on the business line to make sure the metrics you are presenting make sense and is also valuable to them.Hack the FutureSpeaker: Keren Elazari (@k3r3n3)In this inspiring and lively presentation, Keren gave us an eye-opening overview of what cybersecurity has become. For the past 20 years, we’ve been all about protecting bits and data, said Keren. However, a number of recent high-profile breaches should teach us that these leaks mean that secrets are eventually going to get out there (the AshleyMadison and Sony Pictures hack, to name a few).People are afraid of hackers because they shatter their illusions of having privacy. Meanwhile, we are using social networking sites, such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, free of charge because we pay with our choices and our information we are willingly handing over – the places we go and the things we like are valuable information.Keren Elazari

Keren Elazari

“The future of cybersecurity is not just about privacy or keeping things secret,” said Keren. If there are no more secrets, and our information is worth a lot of money, the power of releasing information can change the world (think Edward Snowden).“Maybe in this reality, with the help of hackers, the government and corporations will be as transparent and exposed to us, as we are to them.”Keren concluded stating that there is no way everything will be secure, but this is exactly why the world needs hackers – they are part of the Internet’s immune system. It’s about finding the problems and sparking the solution, she said.Keren gave a Ted talk on this subject, which you can view here.The Journey to ICSSpeaker: Larry Vandenaweele (@lvandenaweele)

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