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Black Hat Cybersecurity Conference Buzzword Bingo: Platforms, Ecosystems, More

Author: Chase Cunningham

Every year at Black Hat, the buzzword factory is in full swing.  Last year the word of the day was Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning (or in the off chance you met with someone who knew what they were talking about they would call it “AI or ML”).  The year before that, the word of the day was Threat Intelligence, which was interesting in that that no one was really doing hard core threat intel; they were basically repurposing everyone else’s data and calling it “threat intel” (and there were literally folks dressed up as Vikings to push some vendors “threat intel” company, seriously Vikings…).

Anyway, that brings me to today and the start of this year’s Black Hat shenanigans. My prediction for the buzzword of the week will be platform and ecosystem. Mainly, the status of the conversations I have been having with vendors and users leads me to believe that I and my compatriots who are in attendance as rogue agents without a vendor backing us will be trampled with conversations that are rife with superfluous uses of these terms.

So, for this year, I’ll keep my predictions short and sweet. Every 9 feet or so the words “platform this” and “ecosystem that” will be tossed around like so many careless hand grenades. I’ll also go ahead and predict that at least 3 sessions I will have shall immediately fall into the metaphysical domain as someone will discuss the ins and out of how hacking is like magic, and at least a couple of conversations about how awesome of a show Mr. Robot is (even with Christian Slater in it…).

Lastly, it’s going to be hot (like stupid, torturous hot), so if you see me looking like I have been in the pool, I haven’t.  I am either sweating from dodging buzzword brain-hemorrhaging conversations, or I have been running around the hotel like a 4-year-old chasing a helium balloon as I look for my next briefing.

Either way, see you in Vegas…Bring your bingo cards.

Chase Cunningham is a principal analyst at Forrester Research, where he serves security and risk professionals. Read more Forrester Research blogs here.

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