InfoWarCon 2014! Here’s a brief overview: Cyber Warfare Info and Awareness at its’ Zenith.

InfoWarCon 2014! Here’s a brief overview: Cyber Warfare Info and Awareness at its’ Zenith.

Henry Dalziel | Information Security Conferences | October 14, 2013

Brace yourself. He’s back! And he’s back with an upper cut and a left jab. The fighting Winn Schwartau is overseeing yet another InfoWarCon! We have blogged a lot about information security conferences in 2013, in fact, here’s our list for 2013 and upcoming events in 2014, 2015, 2016, and there are a lot of them, but this one feels kinda special – special – because the man behind the plan is none other but Defcon legend Winn Schwartau. Winn is not only one of the original attendees and active participants at Defcon 1, (yes number 1) but he’s also a highly respected and well-known infosec professional.

What is InfoWarCon about? Winn sums the much coveted conference by saying:

“We’re defending our country and its critical infrastructures against the past, not the future,”

Like Defcon, InfoWarCon was also founded way-back-when – in 1994 to be precise, which as we all know, is centuries in Internet Years. Encouraged and given a nudge by the military, government and security experts Winn has put a star-studded cast for the conference this coming January 22-24 in Nashville TN.

Everyone reading this will likely agree that over the last two decades, IT Security, (call it the ‘hacking threat’) has grown and grows exponentially whilst the US Government’s reactive approach has been mixed to say the least.

Winn explains further:

“I want to return to the roots of InfowarCon. I want to re-make InfowarCon into a truly immersive experience; a compelling interactive “Show Me, Don’t Tell Me” discussion. A congress that makes a difference in today’s world.”

Here are some of the speakers:

  • Richard Thieme: Author, Professional Speaker and, perhaps uniquely in the community, a priest for 16 years – during which time he became acquainted with computers.
  • Eneken Tikk-Ringas: Senior Fellow for Cyber Security at International Institute for Strategic Studies, Bahrain
  • Dr. Dan Kuehl: Mercyhurst College 2014 InfowarCon Conference Chair
  • Scott Borg: CEO & Chief Economist of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit
  • Renderman: Consultant, Author, Trainer, Hacker
  • Matthew G. Devost: President and CEO at FusionX

In order to defend, you have to know how to attack.
The InfoWarCon makes four compelling points about where we are today with regards to our national Cyber Security:

1. We are defending against the past, not protecting against the future.
The US and most western nations lag behind criminals and politically motivated enemies. This point actually resonates with a comment made by a Hacker Hotshot, that one of the main skills a hacker needs is determination and motivation, i.e. two assets that a politically-charged hacker almost always possesses.

2. As new technologies are introduced, economic interests have dominated the benefits.
The benefit here is that new technologies, whilst they bring humanity, can also be weaponized.

3. New technologies, often invented by us, are used against us.
GPS, Internet, Mobile, Drones etc can all bring humanity and destruction. InfoWarCon will address how technological innovation should and does build in additional layers of safeguards at the design stage.

4. It is incumbent upon the defenders to thoroughly understand how technologies can be re-purposed for hostile application.
An age old InfoSec principle is very dominant here: ‘if you can’t attack, how can you defend?’ The InfowarCon conference has a goal to provide open source access to perceptions from the attacking side of the equation.

In Summary
If you are only going to attend one Cyber Security conference in 2014, make sure it’s InfoWarCon. We’ve had the honor of having worked with Winn several times in 2012 (“Solving the Cyber Security Hiring Crisis DHS and the Great Talent Search” and “Helping Kids Learn About Cyber Safety”) and can vouch that he will bring in a dimension to the conference that the others often lack, in short, the content presented by Winn and his speakers will be detailed, factual and void of any fluff. In any event, how can you not attend a conference with the strap line: “Offensive Cyber Weapons & Technologies Training Congress”?

Drop a comment below, or better still, come and join us Friday October 18th at 12pm EST/ 9am PST where we are joined by Winn and another highly acclaimed InfoSec professional – Matthew G Devost discussing: “Infowar 1994 vs. 2014. Has our national defense improved or faltered?”.

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