The Evolution of Black Hat

August 12, 2014

We had an amazing time at Black Hat USA last week. You may have stopped by for a quick conversation and a t-shirt, or seen us waving from the meeting room on top of our booth. From the presentations to the parties, we enjoyed every minute.

Now that we’re home and we’ve had some time to reflect (and recover), we’ve given some thought to how the Black Hat experience has evolved.

“In just a few short years, Black Hat has morphed from a hacking show to a major cybersecurity industry conference,” explained Andy Rappaport, Chief Architect at Core Security. “The black boots and mohawk crowd is watching warily as chinos and golf-shirts start to take over the floor.”

But is that a bad thing? “Sure, the conference has become much more mainstream,” noted our VP of Advanced Security and Strategy Eric Cowperthwaite. “Some have started to refer to it as ‘RSA Lite.’ I think that is unfair. This is a conference dealing with the concept that anything and everything can be hacked, broken into, attacked, cracked – that’s an idea that only recently went mainstream in the security industry. You now have CISOs and hackers, big and small companies, all mingling together because the security industry is finally embracing reality.”

Of course, the tone has changed a bit. “The hackers are realizing that their message is going to be lost if it isn’t presented correctly,” explained Eric.

It’s hard to pick a favorite part, but Andy shared a highlight: “I really enjoyed Dan Geer’s keynote point about offense dominating the cybersecurity battle. The industry will need to continually adapt to be more aware of attacks and the attackers. More devices equals more attack surface – it becomes impossible to protect them all. Business will need to prioritize which attack paths they address first.”

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