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BLACK HAT 2016: A LOOK AHEAD

Black Hat 2016 will kick off tomorrow with a schedule of briefings focusing on everything from network defense and malware, to data forensics and incident response. Along with these is one new to this year’s briefing categorizations, “human factors.” With the rise of the insider threat, particularly the accidental insider, the human factor has become a key consideration for all cyber security practitioners. Humans likely present the biggest attack surface target available, and finding ways to solve this vulnerability when cyber security talent grows ever scarcer, is evident in briefings addressing adaptive machine learning, as well as user authentication and security automation. Recent news events will no doubt influence discussions around all these things, with external cyber influencers in the US election – as Forcepoint anticipated in its 2016 Predictions report released last December - being of particular interest. Evidence of Russian involvement in this year’s U.S. Presidential election is not unprecedented; Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France and the Netherlands, Germany have all seen similar incidents. And tellingly, we've seen Donald Trump’s challenge to Russian hackers to find Hillary Clinton’s “missing” 30,000 emails, whether flippant or not, galvanize an immediate burst of attack activity from Russia on email servers in the U.S. While it remains to be seen if this onslaught will continue, other threats remain. We’ll be updating this space daily with our take on these and a myriad of other discussions at Black Hat, including Forcepoint CTO Richard Ford’s presentation Inside Out: Viewing Everyone and Everything as Potential Insider Threats, together with what’s happening in the Forcepoint booth on the showroom floor.