Black Hat, with big names and crowds, infiltrates Las Vegas

Updated August 4, 2018 - 3:44 pm

Black Hat USA, the largest annual cybersecurity conference, is expecting record attendance in Las Vegas this week as high-profile breaches and election meddling fears dominate headlines.

More than 17,000 cybersecurity professionals from government, academia and the private sector are expected to turn out for the six-day show to attend some of the 80 training sessions and 120 briefings on offer. The show has nearly doubled in size since 2014.

“Security has become mainstream. It really has its hands in everything these days,” said Steve Wylie, the general manager of the show. “Companies are having to send more and more people to get training” as threats grow, he said.

The show kicked off Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and wraps up Thursday.

Black Hat will feature 300 exhibitors, such as Cisco Systems, offering a range of services and products to protect networks or detect, identify and respond to breaches. Cisco announced Aug. 2 it will buy Duo Security for $2.4 billion, at least the company’s fourth acquisition of a cybersecurity firm since 2013.

Show attendees represent some of the largest companies in the U.S., including JPMorgan Chase, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Amazon, Nike, AT&T and Exxon Mobil, underscoring the ever-growing importance of security to all industries.

Show highlights

The first four days of Black Hat are dedicated to training sessions that focus on topics such as advanced hacking techniques, social engineering and cloud security to give employees the tools to better protect their companies and organizations.

The last two days of the show consist of briefings dedicated to a wide range of current issues. Election hacking will be a hot topic again this year along with critical infrastructure vulnerability, Wylie said.

A Black Hat survey of cybersecurity professionals published in June showed that nearly 70 percent now expect a successful attack against critical infrastructure, up from 60 percent last year.

Carsten Schuermann, a professor at the University of Copenhagen, will deliver a briefing Thursday on the vulnerabilities of the voting machines used extensively in Virginia elections during 2004 and 2015.

Other briefings will focus on hacking connected cars, cash machines and implanted medical devices.

Job shortage

Black Hat will occupy more space at the Mandalay Bay this year as the show grows alongside the industry, Wylie said.

But the breakneck growth is causing a severe industry labor shortage, security specialists said. Some companies and organizations, like the FBI, come to Black Hat in part to recruit.

There are currently about 250,000 jobs openings in cybersecurity around the U.S., according to Sam Olyaei, principal research analyst at Gartner Inc., a global research and advisory firm.

While that is down by half since 2016, the global shortage is forecast to balloon. Olyaei said the industry now expects there will be more than 3 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally by 2021, up from an earlier forecast of 1.4 million.

“The demand for cybersecurity specialists is insane. [The country] cannot produce enough to meet the demand,’’ said Giovanni Vigna, the chief technology officer of Lastline, a company that provides network and email security products to detect and fight cyberattacks.

Lastline, which will be exhibiting at Black Hat, has nearly doubled its head count to about 140 over the past year amid growing demand for its products.

Vigna, who also serves as the director of the Center for Cybersecurity at the University of California, said he recruits from the university as well as at hacking competitions.

Olyaei said companies too often search for cybersecurity professionals with a certain skill set, such as knowledge of specific malware tools that may become obsolete in a few years.

They should widen their search to include people not just with strong technical skill sets but also with business backgrounds so they can understand the security needs of an organization, he said.

Vigna said other companies have been looking at machine learning and artificial intelligence to combat cyberattacks while simultaneously reducing their demand for security personnel. However, the technology hasn’t matured to that level.

“People are starting to understand that it’s not a silver bullet,” Vigna said.

Inevitable

Facebook, footwear maker Under Armour, bakery chain Panera Bread and marketing firm Exactis are among the U.S. companies that have announced major data breaches in the last few months. Breaches can cost large companies tens of millions of dollars in lost business and lawsuits.

That has driven companies and organizations across the board to spend more on cybersecurity and enhance employee training. Zion Market Research earlier this year forecast cybersecurity firms will generate annual revenue of $187 billion in 2021, nearly double the amount for 2015.

Companies have historically spent the overwhelming majority of their cybersecurity investment on protection tools, such as firewalls and anti-virus software.

However, over the past few years they have shifted more toward breach detection and response as they come to realize the odds of stopping every attack is slim, Olyaei said.

“You will be breached. There is no such thing as perfect protection,” he said, describing a breach as inevitable as death.

His blunt comment was supported in a survey published in July by Osterman Research that showed U.S. companies and organizations face a “major” attack on average every 6.7 months.

Phishing — the act of soliciting personal information often through emails purporting to be from a trustworthy sender — continues to be the most common type of attack against organizations followed by spyware and ransomware infections, according to Osterman.

Contact Todd Prince at 702-383-0386 or tprince@reviewjournal.com. Follow @toddprincetv on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like