Getting Future-Focused at Black Hat 2022: Our Top Must-Sees This Year

Aug 2, 2022
Kenna Security

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One of the cybersecurity industry’s biggest annual events is around the corner. That means hordes of Security and IT professionals are dusting off sensible walking shoes, breaking out business cards, and teeing up OOO messages. The overachievers have already started listing their goals for the conference and scoping out the session topics that will help them achieve those goals. For many, including even those procrastinators who are holding off looking at the schedule until they hit the expo floor, security resilience is top of mind.  

It only makes sense. The threat landscape is sounding alarm bells for everyone, and those responsible for monitoring and responding to it are working to shore up their security operations to withstand the changes and threats they know will be heading their way.  

While Black Hat is celebrating its 25th year serving as a top-tier professional development event and knowledge-sharing opportunity, hanging in the air is a question virtually everyone is asking: “What’s next?” Speakers and attendees alike will be looking ahead and discussing security strategies and critical mindset shifts needed to carry organizations through the coming years of intensifying threat and tumult. 

Top schedule-worthy moments you shouldn’t miss 

There’s no shortage of killer Black Hat conference content this year, with more than 80 briefings to choose from, a separate CISO Summit, add-on training opportunities, a competition for start-ups, and a showcase highlighting developments from researchers and open-source wizards.  

Here are some of our top picks to help fill your Black Hat dance card and ensure some truly meaningful takeaways that’ll help you fortify your defenses.  

Noteworthy keynotes. Bookending the larger event are two impressive keynotes. Cybersecurity hotshot Chris Krebs kicks off the action with his opening keynote in which he will attempt to answer that “what’s next?” question, touching on the operational, technological and cultural evolutions needed to meet tomorrow’s challenges. In the closing keynote, investigative journalist Kim Vetter offers compelling questions (and calls to action) about the lead-up to our current national security climate and the urgency to heed the warning signs of what is coming down the pike. 

A meeting of the RBVM minds. Risk-based vulnerability management (RBVM) launched itself to best practice status in recent years, but the concept still remains somewhat murky for many. That’s why we’ve got A Discussion on Risk-Based Vulnerability Management on our shortlist. Five of the top cybersecurity and RBVM heavy hitters are taking part in a Lunch & Learn panel to discuss what RVBM really means and explain how it can shape your risk management strategy moving forward. 

Hosts Jerry Gamblin, Director of Security Research at Cisco, and Michael Roytman, Principal Engineer at Cisco, welcome panelists: 

  • Allan Friedman:  Senior Advisor and Strategist, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
  • Jay Jacobs: Chief Data Scientist and Co-founder of The Cyentia Institute 
  • Ed Bellis: CTO and Co-founder of Kenna Security at Cisco 

Hard-hitting facts about social engineering. One of the tough-to-swallow truths about successful attacks is that many (too many) stem from phishing attempts. Since the dawn of the Internet, social engineering has been nipping at the heels of users who are blissfully unaware they’re being manipulated. And though these days it may seem an archaic form of infiltration, threat actors are lifelong fans of social engineering attacks because they’re still so effective. Cisco Talos, a Black Hat exhibitor, is positioned on the front lines of the global threat intelligence effort. Because of their unique vantage point, they have singular insight into the ebb and flow of social engineering attacks. In this in-depth session, the group’s Head of Outreach, Nicholas Biasini, will shed light on new attack trends and what companies can do to better arm their users moving forward.   

Defense lessons from Ukraine. One of the most sobering predictions Gartner recently released describes a not-too-distant future where 70% of CEOs will have to define a culture of organizational resilience to manage heightened geopolitical, economic, and environmental threats. The way threat actors are taking advantage of the unrest in Ukraine is serving as a devastating learning opportunity for organizations like Cisco Talos as they work to support one-the-ground entities in new ways. Two instrumental Cisco Talos defenders, Ashlee Benge, and JJ Cummings, will outline how they planned and executed a company-wide response to Ukraine-related attacks from start to finish and what the lessons learned could mean for future periods of wartime around the globe. 

The future of vulnerability management. Even with industry-wide steps forward, the vulnerability management scene is changing rapidly. Jerry Gamblin, Director of Security Research at Cisco, will deliver a fast and furious session unpacking how vulnerability management will evolve and what it means for the future of your vulnerability management program (along with its implications for security resilience). Spoiler alert: risk-based vulnerability management plays a big role.  

Take a trip down memory lane. All this future talk has us missing simpler times. Give into the power of nostalgia at Level Up, the can’t-miss party happening on Thursday, August 11, at Skyfall Lounge. Unleash your inner gamer and crush your cohorts at old-school games like Mario Kart, Zelda, and Donkey Kong all while sipping on themed libations like PacManhattans and Gin & Sonics. Get on the list and make sure you don’t miss this premiere Black Hat par-tay.  

Unlocking resilience for an uncertain road ahead 

Even a quick scan of Black Hat’s lineup is reason enough to ensure your organizational goals are aligned with achieving resilience. Readying your organization to navigate future threats and change should be your No. 1 objective. The undercurrent of uncertainty is gaining strength, and those without a strong foundation of resilience risk losing their footing. 

But Black Hat also offers a signal of hope. For 25 years, people (really smart people) have gathered to share their breakthroughs and challenge each other to rethink traditional approaches to cybersecurity. While the stakes have never been higher and the threats never so sophisticated, the hopeful spirit of the event remains the same. As long as communities like Black Hat, there will always be helpful discoveries to share and better ways to strengthen our defenses.  

We hope you’ll join us at Black Hat to meet the future with confidence—together. 

Catch Kenna and Cisco at Black Hat 

Take a peek at the different spots we can connect to help answer your risk-based vulnerability management questions and discuss building your security resilience. 

Find Kenna Security  

Find Cisco 

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