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What Happens in Vegas Ends up on the Internet

I took the time to travel to BlackHat and spend time with the best community on the planet and I am sharing my key takeaways from the event

Spending the last several days in Las Vegas at Blackhat was an amazing experience. The content was exceptional, the meetings very productive and overall, the cybersecurity community proved once again, it is the best in the world!

I want to list several of my key takeaways from Blackhat this year:

1.     The Software revolution is here: so many companies, practitioners and professionals were talking about software security, SaaS security, DevSecOps are now front and center and the amount of innovation in this space is mind boggling. So many different approaches to solve these challenges.

2.     The Market has shifted significantly. I was amazed to see companies that as recently as last year were in the startup or innovation area, now be featured front and center among the big players in our industry. And a safe reflections of former household brands now located in the far dark corner of the venue with a small team was a wakeup call to putting innovation on the back burner and missing the market shift.

3.     The networking was spot on; like every year, some of the best conversations were in the hallways between sessions and among people you know from the many LinkedIn communities, Slack channels, and discord groups.  The conversations were insightful and educational.

Feedback from the Business Hall (Exhibit Floor)

I walked the floor extensively Thursday, speaking to some exciting startups and companies and leaving with bad taste from several companies and one theme emerged from this time on the floor.

The Good:

·      Clear messaging on the problem we solve, friendly faces that wanted to build relationships and welcoming environment for people to sit down and relax.

·      Cool companies had cool, creative giveaways.

The Bad:

·      Multiple booths that are next to each conducting simultaneous presentations that make it impossible to hear the thoughts in your head, none of the less being able to listen and get the messaging from their talks. (Please solve this for next year).

The Ugly:

·      Bad Go-To Market messaging, certain companies fail to understand the idea of meeting the people walking by, instead focused on their internal conversations then meeting the professionals and practitioners. You are investing money to have a booth on location, people walking by are your partners in one way or another, smile and welcome them.

Overall, the business hall was a typical experience as any other event in my opinion. I can attest that some companies were able to understand the assignment at Blackhat, these companies were clear in telling you the problems we solve and reach across a hand in partnership as we face similar challenges.

My one complaint is the standing only booths, while I enjoy a short standing conversation, I would much rather have a seat, enjoy a good espresso (Please contact me for bean recommendations for next year) and dig into how you help me be a better practitioner.

Cybersecurity practitioners face significant challenges in the coming year, our challenges are increasing and getting more complex. There is a need for more robust partnerships among companies and peers. I was excited to see security partners talk about integration with others and using one another to help us practitioners, I also saw the isolationists dig deep and miss the call of the hour. We are stronger together and security is a team sport that requires a skilled team with the right tools and visibility to win the big battles and minimize their losses.

I want to thank our security partners at CyberHub Podcast: Mezmo, Adaptive Shield, BlindSpot Security and Pentera for their support of the program and adding value to the community with great conversations and great content posted on podcast page.

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