Jul 29 2021

Black Hat USA 2021: What to Expect from This Year’s Hybrid Event

The annual conference will focus on cybersecurity with a particular focus on protecting vulnerable supply chains in the wake of recent high-profile attacks.

In the past 18 months, IT departments in every industry have witnessed a great deal of change and shouldered a large share of the workload just to keep their organizations operating. They have been tasked with enabling huge swaths of the workforce to perform their jobs remotely, allowing for collaboration while maintaining security.

While those efforts proved to be largely successful, overnight decisions and accelerated innovations opened up new vulnerabilities, and threat actors have taken notice, lying in wait to exploit insufficiently protected data.

Recent ransomware attacks have caught the attention of IT professionals, news reporters and even the White House, with the Biden administration recently releasing an executive order emphasizing the importance of securing the nation’s critical infrastructure from cybersecurity threats.

Where Does the Federal Government Fit into Cybersecurity?

While the Biden administration has taken a firm stance on cybersecurity in its recent executive order, it provided little direction on how the government intends to prevent or punish cybercrimes. Questions remain as to what the government’s role should be. Should a federal body be established to investigate cyberattacks? Based on the scale of recent ransomware incidents, calls for such oversight are growing louder. Should companies be obligated to turn over data for access to foreign markets?

In a keynote briefing, Jen Easterly, the new director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, will detail her vision for how stakeholders — including the government and the private sector — could work together to defend against threats.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will also deliver a keynote session sure to shed some light on the role the government expects to play in protecting against hackers and other cybercriminals.

WATCH: Learn more about ransomware and the challenge of defending against it. 

Big Data Must Confront Its Security Concerns

The vulnerability of the Big Data stack is another topic being highlighted at this year’s event. Complexity is the enemy of security, and Big Data is nothing if not complex. Add to that the need to process data and implement technologies quickly, and security frequently can't keep up.

Victor Marchetto, senior field solution architect at CDW, will be on hand with an on-demand session offering recommendations for how to add proactive security to improve your security strategy. His session will cover Red Team and Purple Team security assessments and discuss how they fit into an overall security strategy.

Securing Software on a Massive Scale   

Big Data stacks aren’t the only potentially vulnerable asset in the cloud. Open-source software is essential to many large organizations and represents a wide attack surface.

Some IT leaders worry that attackers may be ahead in developing ways to discover vulnerabilities on a larger scale, which makes it crucial to shore up infrastructure security across industries and borders.

To keep up with our coverage of Black Hat USA 2021, bookmark this page, follow us on Twitter at @BizTechMagazine or the official conference Twitter account,  @BlackHatEvents.

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