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7 Key Takeaways from the 2023 Black Hat Conference
By Alex Waintraub, DFIR Expert Evangelist
August 29, 2023
7 Key Takeaways from the 2023 Black Hat Conference

The Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas has been one of the most important cybersecurity conferences for decades, recently celebrating its 26th year in existence. It provides a great networking opportunity and a chance to hear from cybersecurity thought leaders in all different industries, with training sessions and trend analysis on some of the biggest hot-button issues in the cybersecurity sector today. The conference also provided an opportunity to visit different vendor booths and learn more about new solutions in the cybersecurity landscape.

Naturally, several members of the CYGNVS team were in attendance to get the lay of the land.

Here are some of my key takeaways from the event:

  1. Dwindling VC Funding in Cybersecurity: The landscape of venture capital funding in cybersecurity is undergoing a significant shift. According to data from Crunchbase, investments in cybersecurity companies have plummeted by a staggering 63% in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. Startups are facing challenges in securing financing, especially in the mid- to late-stage.

    In addition to the general economic pullback, the cybersecurity industry is being hit hard due to legions of failed startups in the space, and investors are reluctant to overinvest if their payoff is uncertain. Investors have been turning their focus away from innovation, and towards profitability โ€“ which means that heavy investments in cybersecurity technology may not be a priority for the foreseeable future.

  2. Cloud Detection and Response Takes the Spotlight: The buzz at #BlackHat2023 was all about CNAPP (Cloud Native Application Protection) and their role in cloud security. The emergence of Cloud Detection and Response (CDR) solutions was evident, with several new launches and discussions around the risks of cloud risks. A CNAPP is an all-in-one cloud-based solution that streamlines the process of monitoring, detecting, and responding to cloud security threats and vulnerabilities.

    In the past, I only remember seeing one player in this space, but this time there were at least six. This shift reflects organizations' realization that they need real-time observability and response capabilities, especially as the Cloud security landscape matures.

  3. AI's Impact on Cybersecurity: The impact of generative AI in the cybersecurity realm was a prominent theme at #BlackHat2023. Conversations revolved around AI and ML's dual potentialโ€”both as powerful tools for phish and malware detection and as potential threats when misused. The innovative use of AI, like QWIET.AI's vulnerability scans that identify 0-days pre-detection, showcased the transformative potential of AI in security. Experts emphasized the need to integrate AI deeply into security workflows for real innovation.

  4. Rising Ransomware Threat in Education: The escalating threat of ransomware, especially targeting K-12 institutions, caught everyone's attention. Education remains a prime target due to outdated technology and limited funding. The ongoing lack of resources and the increasing sophistication of ransomware attacks paint a challenging picture for educational institutions. (Source: AP News)

  5. XDR Automation: Automation within Extended Detection and Response (XDR) solutions emerged as a crucial focus area. Streamlining and automating incident response processes garnered significant interest, reflecting the industry's push for efficiency and rapid threat containment.

  6. New SEC Rules

    The SEC has released new rules around the mandatory disclosure of cybersecurity events, with a comprehensive framework that companies must follow to avoid fines and penalties in the event of a data breach. In our discussions with customers and colleagues, we found that many organizations, especially those in the middle and lower markets, are not prepared for the new burden of proof that will be put on them if the rules are approved in December 2023 as scheduled. In my view, many companies seem to be underestimating what needs to be done to meet the SEC requirements and may find themselves in trouble come January. Itโ€™s likely that companies will need to scramble to put internal guidance in place to help them meet the new requirements, though they may be able to streamline the process by choosing the right technology solution to support their incident response management plan.

  7. CYGNVS Is One-of-a-Kind

    We were curious to evaluate other vendors in the incident management space โ€“ but we never had the opportunity. We didnโ€™t see any solutions at the event in the same space as CYGNVS. While many solutions focus on threat detection, we were the only vendor there that prioritized cybersecurity incident preparation and response on a secure, out-of-band platform that facilitates permissioned access for all stakeholders, both within and outside of an organization.

    We also had the simplest demo process of any vendor at the conference we came across โ€“ while others required prospects to set up demo requests hours or days in advance, we were able to easily walk our prospects through the platform using only our mobile phone interfaces. True to our word, CYNGVS provides anytime, anywhere access to our incident response platform, making it easy to showcase its value proposition on the fly. We were gratified to see the excitement around our product and are honored to be serving a growing need in the market that will support companies in preparing for data breaches, reporting on breaches for SEC rules, and restoring business operations quickly in the aftermath of a breach.

Want to learn more about how CYGNVS can help? Schedule a demo today.