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With Black Hat Las Vegas just a few days away, most of the security industry is gearing up for one of the largest shows of the year, held at Mandalay Bay. From booth demos and keynotes to the famed Wall of Sheep and bustling party scene, Black Hat is a “must attend” conference for sharing the latest and greatest in cyber security threat and vulnerability research.

But what sets this eagerly anticipated event apart from all the others? Here at Merritt Group, we’re looking forward to seeing our clients, reporters, analysts and industry influencer friends and getting a glimpse into the hottest security trends and exciting new technologies on the horizon. To uncover why Black Hat is a not-to-be missed event, we polled some influential security reporters to find out what they’re most looking forward to this year.

Here’s what they had to say:


“I think what I am looking forward to most [at Black Hat 2016] is just meeting some of the industry professionals beyond the boardroom  — the researchers and engineers — who, while not typically in the public light, certainly help drive their companies’ success.”

– Chris Bing, FedScoop/CyberScoop

“I’m really looking forward to the briefings in the Human Factors track. It seems like the human aspect of cybersecurity tends to get overshadowed by the technical aspects, but it’s always interesting to see demonstrations of how important people are to maintaining a robust defense.”

– Luke Penn-Hall, The Cipher Brief


“Dark Reading is excited to be holding its first awards program, the Dark Reading Best of Black Hat Awards, which will feature three winners announced on Wed. 8/3. We’re also excited to be celebrating our 10th anniversary of publication, as well as a fabulous partnership with Black Hat that will feature a live News Desk on Wed. and Thurs., five different sessions during the briefing days, and a strong contribution to the Black Hat CISO Summit. We will also be issuing a Black Hat newsletter, two special Dark Reading Radio shows on Wed. and Thurs., and constant live tweeting from every session we attend. Our own Kelly Jackson Higgins will be hosting a Women In Security event as well. All of this is on top of our usual array of Black Hat stories – we have been publishing preview stories since June and will publish many more during and after the show.”

– Tim Wilson, Dark Reading

“I attend many of the major security trade shows every year. What distinguishes Black Hat from all the other shows is the education, collective cooperation and cutting edge reveals between colleagues and competitors. I have never seen anything like it. To me, Black Hat is the security industry model for solving our most challenging security issues.”

– Chuck Harold, Security Guy Radio


“I’ve been to several events and one of the ones I look forward to most is Black Hat. It show the industry’s maturity and the general desire to advance and keep up with the rapid evolution. This year I’m most interested in the diversity of the conference. Not only with more women and minorities joining the ranks but more diverse backgrounds that contribute.”

– Charles Tendell, Hacked! The Charles Tendell Show

“For Black Hat 2016, I’m excited for a number of things, there are multiple deep talks on previously unexplored areas of IT security this year, notably WPAD and interesting new HTTPS exploits. Always interesting to see Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, give talks both for the sheer ‘drama’ and showmanship as well as for the keen intellectual insights they always share. Of course, looking forward to seeing the Pwnie Awards too. Oh and sure! Always love seeing vendors in the expo hall too!”

– Sean Michael Kerner, eWEEK


“I’m excited to finally get my physical security video (locks) project off the ground. I also did a big study on passwords that I’ve been looking forward to publishing.”

-Steve Ragan, CSO

“After a year away from the industry on maternity leave, I’m so excited to catch up with many industry colleagues and friends at Black Hat, and get the low-down on what I’ve missed, and what’s hot at the moment. I’m looking forward to the cyber war and political sessions, but also, from a personal level, the AirBnB session, as that’s a site and service I love to use. Of course, I’m also looking forward to the parties, and Jack Daniel has promised to introduce me to his very favourite Tiki bar…See you all in Vegas!”

-Eleanor Dallaway, Infosecurity Magazine


Whether you’re headed to the show simply to hobnob with industry pros and make connections or eager for the educational opportunities and live demos, it’s clear Black Hat is the place to be next week!

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