Beer, Swag and #InfoSec16

On what was meant to be a boring school day, I found myself visiting InfoSec16 with my Dad, or boss? Well that’s what my badge made out. I was now my Dad’s employee at SecurityFaqs and a security researcher apparently. The only bad thing about that was I now had a contractual obligation to go to the first talk of the day because it featured the worlds best CISO ™.

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My Dad told me the talks of the day, and in all honesty I had no idea what was going on, but I knew the free swag and free beer was going to make the day better than Sixth Form. On the topic of the free beer, I was quite amused when people at various stands was just offering it up to me…I assumed that because I was there at InfoSec that I was and looked over 18 because no one had actually realised I was underage. Lucky I’m sensible with alcohol, but it made me feel good knowing that I looked older than I was.

Throughout the day I got to meet lots of my Dad’s colleagues (William was awesome and really made me feel welcome) and boss (didn’t understand his talk but Thom come across really confident and I was told I had to agree with his point of view) who all seemed like really nice people, and I was more curious about what their job roles do, and how interesting the security industry could actually be.

Walking around throughout the day people at stands were trying to have convocations with me, and one of the stands tried selling me products after reading my badge, and me telling him It was my first day on the job. I’m sure he hadn’t realised I was just there for his company’s cool looking Minecraft heads.



Later in the day, the time arrived for the thing I was looking forward to most, Dr Jessica Barkers talk on hacking a human. I was intrigued just by the title, and knew that I wasn’t going to get much of the topic, but I really wanted to know more about this field. Seconds into the talk, I had my notepad and pen out I had picked up throughout the day and was taking notes on what she had to say.

I straight away wrote down my notepad that she was funny, and had a good personality. It wasn’t relevant to her talks topic, but I was more engaged in the talk because of the way she presented herself. As her talk went on she mentioned how people would give up their passwords for free chocolates which I found rather amusing, and thought people cannot be that foolish could they? Turns out people are.

She also made a comment in her talk about the area I’m most interested in; Banking, and Banks. Her story of how someone managed to break into a Bank, pose as a worker and get four people to help build him his own office was amusing and remarkable, and showed me just how important and crucial security is needed in the world as a Bank is meant to be one of the securest buildings in the world.

She also mentioned the topic of Narcissism, and when she explained what it was I looked around the room and noticed a lot of people smiling, or chuckling to themselves; people were defiantly engaged in her talk, and this topic seemed to affect a lot of people in the room. Overall I found her talk really enjoying, and educative. It even made me consider on my terrible packed train journey home how interesting her job really must be, and what it must be like doing what she does for a living.

Overall I really enjoyed the day and the only bad part was my Dad told me I missed a chance to meet Brian Honan who is kind of like a hero to me cos he is such a hero to my Dad.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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