That’s a Wrap! (For now): Black Hat 2019 Recap

Events, High Technology Posted Aug 16, 2019 by Gabrielle Kondracki

Another Black Hat has come and gone, and after taking the week off to let all of those who attended the annual event recover from the Vegas heat, the conference chaos, and the one-too-many drinks, it’s time to break down what actually happened among all of the madness.


My first stop? Right around the corner to the office of CHEN PR’s very own, Kevin Kosh. A repeat offender, Kevin has been attending the Black Hat Conferences for years, and we always look forward to his observations about the event upon his arrival home. Here’s what he had to say about this year’s security gathering:

GK: What was the crowd like this year?

KK: This year, the crowd seemed big but more notably I had the overall feeling that the crowd was more active this year. The energy was at an all-time high – something that wasn’t as apparent in years past.  There were definitely familiar faces that I always look forward to catching up with and grabbing a drink, but this industry thrives on change, and the crowd further reinforced this. There were new faces, new roles, and new conversations.

GK: Top Trends – what were the most talked about topics? What were companies promoting?

KK: There is the trend that Black Hat has been trending away from its roots. What I mean by that is it’s becoming more respectable, acting more like a business conference (or a theme park, they even have their own gift shop with logoed gear- I bought these Black Hat koozies in the gift shop that were actual black hoodies, they’re a riot). So, a lot of the things discussed were topics you’d expect to reflect the priorities in the news. Topics like: cloud, IoT, automation, infrastructure, and of course, vulnerability disclosure. The talks also took on more of a collaborative theme with the keynotes stressing community and communication, which was interesting.

GK: Was there anything else “colorful” that happened that is worth noting?

KK: When Dennis Fisher and I were looking for the Duo booth, it was shocking how many companies had chosen green as the major color palate for their booths. I’m not sure if we only noticed it because we were looking for Duo, but it certainly stood out. As for other “color” that stays in Vegas.

Back on the Homefront

After getting the inside scoop on the conference itself, I took to the news to find out what the companies attending were up to during that week. CHEN PR’s clients had some things to say, that’s for sure! Both Capsule8 and Digital Guardian made announcements the week of Black Hat that are certainly worth noting!

Capsule8 announced that Intel Capital (the VC arm of Intel) became a strategic investor in the company.

Digital Guardian announced the immediate availability of DG Wingman, its new free forensic artifact collection tool for security professionals.

On top of client announcements were client parties and get-togethers. It’s true what they say – work hard, play hard, and our clients take that seriously! Here’s a snapshot of some of those parties and gatherings.

Duo SecurityDuo hosted their Decipher Party again this year, which invited friends, colleagues and press to join Dennis Fisher (Editor in Chief), Fahmida Y. Rashid (Senior Managing Editor) and the rest of their crew at Zombie Village. DJ Keith Myers spun the hottest house music, and Duo didn’t disappoint as they made sure to keep the good vibes flowing with cocktails and mocktails.

FlashpointFlashpoint and Anomali hosted their third annual Distilled Party at Black Hat and invited others to join them in a night of networking over signature cocktails, craft beers, classic comfort food, all while enjoying the lockpick village hosted by The CORE Group.

RiskLensThe FAIR Institute held a CISO Breakfast Meeting at Black Hat last week to engage in a cyber risk discussion. Central to the Institute is the standard Factor Analysis of Information Risk (FAIR) model, the framework that defines the necessary building blocks for implementing effective cyber risk management programs. The president of the FAIR Institute, Nick Sanna, led the conversation and focused on enabling cybersecurity professionals to measure the effectiveness of their security initiatives and prioritize them based on business impact. The breakfast was sold out and attended by some of the world’s leading CISOs.

As for the press coverage itself? Check out some of our favorite articles to get the reporter’s take on Black Hat 2019, CHEN PR’s clients, and the overall trends to be on the look out for!


Another successful Black Hat, if I do say so myself! Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and…wait, when were those RSA Call For Papers due?!?! (Will it ever end?)