Jul 31 2020

Black Hat 2020: What to Expect from This Year’s Virtual Conference

Security’s premier global event will cover everything from disinformation campaigns to hacking your own brain.

Businesses across industries have gone through tremendous upheaval over the past several months. Organizations have had to pivot their products, enable fully remote workforces and adapt to new tools to keep operations running during a time of immense economic uncertainty.

These are the kinds of circumstances that bad actors take advantage of.

Security is more important now than ever, with each at-home employee representing a potential vulnerability for a hacker to infiltrate and disrupt the network. In addition to these new risks, hackers are still sharpening their skills to come up with new ways to cause disruption against the backdrop of a presidential election year.

This is the focus of Black Hat USA 2020, the premier information security conference. The 23rd annual event will be all-virtual, complete with security topic briefings, training for professionals and even engagement opportunities. Researchers will present their findings on things like problem-solving for IT, while others will help IT professionals convince their business leaders that security is a worthy investment.

Here’s what to expect from the digital experience.

How Security Leaders Are Moving Forward

Cybersecurity leaders are accustomed to adapting to a constantly evolving landscape. Still, this year has thrown a number of curveballs at security professionals across industries with the move to widespread remote work. Organizations have had to shift their security focus to the user as workforces have dispersed far and wide.

But under the surface of that disruption, bad actors are continuing to transform their tactics. At Black Hat’s CISO Summit, industry leaders will discuss the state of cybersecurity, review current threat trends and share methods of defense for their organizations.

In addition to looking at immediate threats, CISOs will dive deeper into long-term security strategies and goals, the evolving trend of insider threats and the concept of zero-trust security. They’ll also discuss how the role of the CISO has evolved and how to bring a value-based approach to security.

MORE FROM BIZTECH: Learn about the security priorities IT leaders are focused on.

New Attempts to Hack the Human Mind

From the COVID-19 pandemic to the presidential election, 2020 has been an active year for misinformation campaigns. Bad actors and even governments have long used disinformation as a tactic, but the growth of technology and social media thrust the practice to the forefront, particularly after the 2016 presidential election.

We often think of disinformation campaigns as being a political threat, but they are a threat to businesses as well. Not only can misinformation damage a company’s reputation, and eventually its bottom line, but deepfake technology can also allow bad actors to impersonate executives, potentially stealing millions.

Be it at the hands of criminals, an extremist group or a foreign government, security professionals need to stand ready to combat this growing threat. At Black Hat, researcher Renee DiResta of the Stanford Internet Observatory will dive deeper into hacking the information space, demonstrating how it isn’t only a problem for public entities. The second keynote address, delivered by Matt Blaze of Georgetown University, will look at the challenges of election security in the midst of a global pandemic.

Whether you’re looking to defend against current threats or trying to create a strategy for the future, Black Hat will have guidance. Follow BizTech’s coverage here.

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