Black Hat 2013 – It’s Hogwarts for Information Security Wizards (Or CIA Spooks)

Imagine if Harry Potter’s life had been altered in an Aeon Flux, dystopian kind of way? Instead of inheriting wizard-like-skills and a matching lightning bolt scar on his forehead, he was conversely born with an astute affinity towards programming code, breaching internet firewalls and perhaps secretly working for the CIA?

If this were the case, Harry would clearly need to go to an academic institution worthy of his Information Security (InfoSec) inclined disposition, right? Believe it or not, such an institution actually exists – called “Black Hat,” and it is held yearly in Las Vegas.  Black Hat is a symposium that brings together the best minds in security to define tomorrow’s information security landscape with the ultimate goal of providing the essential knowledge and skills needed to defend the government and enterprises against today’s threats. Before we delve deeper, let’s first define what InfoSec is why it’s an extremely important topic to address in the technology sector.

InfoSec is the practice of defending information from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, perusal, inspection, recording or destruction.InfoSec refers to any form the data may take (electronic, physical, etc.). InfoSec attributes include Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability (CIA). Information Systems are composed in three main portions entailing hardware, software and communications with the purpose to help identify and apply information security industry standards, as mechanisms of protection and prevention. Essentially, procedures or policies are implemented to tell people (administrators, users and operators) how to use products to ensure information security within the organizations.[1]

Here’s the deal: There are lots of “not-so-nice guys” (think Lord Voldemort  x 10,000 with equivalent degrees from M.I.T.) who take great pleasure in targeting the security vulnerabilities of the government, military forces, corporations, financial institutions, hospitals, and private businesses.  These institutions amass a great deal of confidential information about their employees, customers, products, research and financial status, most of which is collected, processed and stored on computers and transmitted across networks to other computers. Should confidential information about a business’ customers or finances or new product line fall into the hands of a competitor or a black hat hacker, this security breach could lead to exploited data and/or information, exploited staff/personnel, fraud, theft, and information leaks.. Protecting confidential information is a business requirement, and in most cases also an ethical and legal requirement.

Endace – helping foil hackers one nerd at a time

At Endace, we live, breath and even dream about InfoSec because it’s our lifeblood and defines who we are. The Black Hat event offers the perfect setting to bring our vast knowledge of all things InfoSec to thought leaders from all facets of the InfoSec world – from the corporate and government sectors to academic and even underground researchers.  Come and see the Endace booth at Black Hat (booth #336), and we will be happy to tell you more about what we can do for you!

The Endace portfolio of network visibility and network recording products are trusted by large organizations all over the world to measure, monitor, analyze, protect and troubleshoot some of the fastest and most complex InfoSec deployments on earth. By employing EndaceProbe Network Recorders, NetFlow Generator, and EndaceVision products, you can manage InfoSec deployments by accelerating response times for network and security issues, maximize IT risk management and improve operational efficiency to capitalize on network uptime.  Keep in mind, “network recording” is a feature of products that falls under network performance management (NPM), application performance management (APM), and the network security forensics markets. The latest industry data finds that the network recording market earned revenue of $345.5 million in 2012 and estimates this to reach $2.04 billion in 2020[2].

Why is this important? It’s simple – data is growing exponentially and the inevitable need to manage, secure and protect this data is a requirement every organization needs to look at in order to maximize their long-term viability. The data speaks volumes. According to market research firm IDC’s Digital Universe Study, 2.8 zettabytes of data would have been created and replicated in just 2012 alone![3] With the amount of data in the world proliferating to no end – analyzing, monitoring, securing, protecting and producing intelligence from it becomes a detriment to operational success.

Black Hat – You won’t find Edward Snowden there (or maybe you will)

Admit it, Black Hat beats a Hollywood Red Carpet event any day. Who would want to miss breakout sessions with titillating topics like the following?

  • Combating the Insider Threat at the FBI: Real World Lessons Learned
  • Exploiting Network Surveillance Cameras like a Hollywood Hacker
  • Implantable Medical Devices: Hacking Humans
  • The Factoring Dead – Preparing for the Cryptopocalypse

And my all-time favorite, because I have two at home:

  • The Outer Limits: Hacking the Samsung Smart TV

Make sure you stop by the Endace booth (#336) at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. In addition to learning about Endace’s renowned InfoSec  targeted product line, we will be handing  out promotional giveaways and a GoPro Camera!   See you all there!

[1] Wikipedia

[2] Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of the Global Network Recording Market

[3] IDC Digital Universe Study, sponsored by EMC, December 2012


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