Feet on the Street: Black Hat 2019

Viva Las Vegas and, while we are at it, viva cybersecurity, too. One of the largest hacking and security conferences in the world came and went this past week in Sin City. Black Hat, a cousin of DefCon, was founded in the mid-90s (by accident) and evolved into a conference of over 20,000 people. Attendees include experts and researchers, including SailPoint evangelist Mike Kiser, from across the globe who present their mind-blowing, and sometimes alarming, takes on cybersecurity at large. SailPoint has been attending Black Hat for years, and this year was no exception. Here’s the scoop on the events and ideas we encountered at Black Hat 2019—and not by accident. Let’s do this, cyber gang!

Dark Reading Interview with Mike Kiser

Our very own Mike Kiser sat down with Sara Peters at the Dark Reading News Desk to talk about his upcoming session at the conference, Spartacus As A Service. The concept behind Mike’s talk is the right to be forgotten. As we are all aware, privacy is a hot topic these days. Our CEO Mark McClain even proclaimed, “privacy is dead” at our recent Navigate conference in Austin earlier this summer. Privacy is becoming a fundamental human rights issue by numerous governments. Legislation such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), for example, aim to establish this right for EU citizens and California residents, respectively. But just how are they going to put privacy back in the people’s hands?

If you are hanging around for DefCon, don’t miss Mike’s Demo Labs session.

“We Have Trust Issues” SailPoint Booth

Don’t you love honesty? At the SailPoint booth, we are upfront with you about our trust issues. We have them, and so should you—especially when it comes to security. The name of the game this year is SailPoint Predictive Identity. We recently unveiled our vision for identity earlier this spring to much fanfare. I personally encountered SailPoint Predictive Identity fans at Navigate and was thrilled to see the same reaction at Black Hat (the bright-green shoelace swag helped).

SailPoint Predictive Identity

So, here’s the skinny about SailPoint Predictive Identity. Thanks to the digital transformation, there’s more cloud applications, more data, more users, and unfortunately, more risk. To stop risk in its tracks, identity teams now need the power of AI and machine learning to get and stay ahead of risk and compliance issues all without slowing the pace of business. Enter SailPoint Predictive Identity. Our new approach to identity, aided by AI and ML technologies helps identity teams to quickly identify users with risky access and offers recommendations identity teams you can make intelligent access decisions that ensure compliance. The goal is to not only help our customers to improve their compliance and risk posture but also make identity governance programs much more accessible and, yes, even autonomous. It’s as easy as that! Well, not that easy, but it’s our jobs to make life easier for you!

 Partnership Makes for Better Cybersecurity

The showroom floor at Black Hat is vast and buzzing with activity. I got to see all kinds of cool swag, presentations, and discussions happening all around. Let’s start from the top—our partners BeyondTrust and Optiv had great trinkets. Catering to the crowd, BeyondTrust had a Lego set of Millennium Falcon up for grabs. Optiv went a little more practical with an inflatable tube to give out to lucky peeps who stopped by their booth. Makes for a great prop at the Vegas pools. Swag aside, it’s great to see our partners out in the Black Hat community, coming together. Black Hat is all about a meeting of the minds and forming the next phase of cybersecurity. 

Putting Humanity Back into Security

And speaking of the next phase of security, what I saw at Black Hat was an effort to put humanity back into security. At SailPoint, we often talk about how people are the strongest and weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. We can all agree that security depends on people—at Black Hat this year there was an entire ‘Human Factors‘ track. As my time at Black Hat ended, I couldn’t help but be excited for the future of security and identity—especially when we continue to put the focus back on the people.

From privacy talks to discussions about AI and machine learning and lasting partnerships, it was a great week in Vegas. As we hang up our Black Hat, I’m looking forward to next year. This group of security and identity professionals continues to move the ball forward when it comes to cybersecurity, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for next year and beyond. Long live cybersecurity!


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