The ISSA-UK and why I like them

I have always had a soft spot for the ISSA-UK; ISACA and (ISC)2 are all very well (and have a slightly different  value offering what with their examinations and credentials), so the ISSA have sometimes in my opinion been compared alongside them somewhat unfairly. I like them for a number of reasons:

  1. Great value for money – at less than £100 per year and with a considerably higher number of events per year (at least in London) than (ISC)2 and ISACA, that’s a lot of potential CPE’s.
  2. Quality of speakers; I am biased (having now become an ISSA-UK speaker), but I have always been impressed with the quality of speakers. The highlight for me of the last 12 months for instance was Bill Hagestad  when he spoke about the Chinese cyber threat.
  3. Awesome people and networking; I am constantly meeting great people and having great conversations with them, infosec related and otherwise. Just tonight I made tentative arrangements to do a talk alongside someone else, discussed a high profile speakers apparent downfall (always useful for the future when the inevitable happens to oneself) and “connected” with a number of highly intelligent and rightly opinionated people.

Overall I think of them as having the least of an agenda with no exams to sell or certifications fees to maintain, and this is why it puts them at the top of my list.

Telling it like it is apparently

Telling it like it is apparently

Last nights talks were very similar to the Bristol one of a few weeks ago in that Richard Hollis presented on Deep Threat – Top 10 Lessons to Learn from the Online Adult Entertainment Industry, and I did my UFO’s, Dirty Dancing and Exploding Helicopters, a Hollywood guide to risk management presentation again. The final presentation was by Adrian Wright, ISSA-UK VP of Projects on Securing The ‘Internet of Things’ – Implications and Key Questions. 

I have to apologise to Adrian as I overran on my presentation putting the pressure on him to be as succinct as possible. Running over time is rightfully seen as something of a cardinal sin for a presenter, but in my mitigation it was because of the level of interaction from audience was just brilliant, and we got a good number of opinions across all of the topics put forward.

I have commented on Richard’s excellent presentation from when he gave it in Bristol, but Adrian’s I had not seen before. It was utterly fascinating and presented (as expected) very well by Adrian. What struck me the most was that the adoption of new technology is just increasing in speed over time almost exponentially. What this means for the internet of things is that before we know it, literally in the next few years, we will see a massive shift in how we consume food, control our homes and even park our cars. Only time will tell, but in this case, not a lot of time.

A great evening as usual and my tanks go to Gabe Chomic (@infoseccrow) for the invitation.

The presentation from the night is here in PDF and native Keynote, and as always if anyone would like to continue to conversation with me you know the usual channels!

The EU, Porn, and Hollywood

And if that title doesn’t attract attention I don’t know what will…

Unfortunately (for you) while this title is accurate the rest of this post may not quite deliver what you are expecting or hoping for. Just a few days ago (Thursday 16th May) I attended for the first time an ISSA-UK chapter meeting in Bristol where Marcus Alldrick, Richard Hollis and myself were presenting (in that order) to the great and the good of the south west infosec community.

Marcus Alldrick emphasises...

Marcus Alldrick emphasises…

Marcus’ presentation of The EU’s Proposed Data Protection Regulation, It’s Life Jim But Not As We Know It was very well received with a huge amount of interaction to the point of a  twenty minute overrun. I have tended to avoid expending too much energy on draft legislation like this as it often changes dramatically the closer it gets to publication (MA201 CMR 17 is a good example of this), and so the view that Marcus presented was a welcome one. Although his deck was content rich he put it across in his own inimitable style and I found it hugely educational. One point that came across loud and clear is that if it gets enacted in its current format one of the most sought after roles in any company will be that of Chief Privacy Officer for the job security alone (the role must be filled by the same person for a minimum of two years!).

...and Richard hills boasts

…and Richard Hollis boasts

Second up was Richard Hollis with his hotly anticipated Deep Threat – Top 10 Lessons to Learn from the Online Adult Entertainment Industry. While the expected jokes and euphemisms came thick and fast underneath it were some startling and very interesting lessons, but namely that the adult entertainment industry simply does information security far better than the rest of us; they are single minded, have a lot to lose, and ultimately see the “battle” with maintaining security as just that… it’s a war which they are determined to win. A fascinating insight into an often overlooked industry with some great lessons summarising the underlying security ethos of this industry.

I'm a little teapot

I’m a little teapot

Finally it was my turn. To be honest I was somewhat apprehensive following these two presentations; there was a huge amount of interaction to this point and while my presentations somewhat relied on audience participation the main points I was raising were quite high level and in some cases not often talked about. I shouldn’t have worried. I had an absolute blast talking about different elements of risk management and getting some excellent feedback, comments, questions and of course different opinions. My case was obviously helped by the fact that I was handing out prizes for each correct answer identifying a quote to a film! The presentation itself is below along with a few snippets of the presentation itself taken from the back of the room.

I have always been impressed with the ISSA-UK meetings, the quality of the discussion between people and to be honest the great value that membership of this association brings. I am very much looking forward to more of these, and if asked to present again at one of their sessions. My thanks to Alan and Gabe (@infoseccrow) for giving me the opportunity to present here.

UFOs Dirty Dancing and Exploding Helicopters (PDF)