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Sunday, April 19 • 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Hacker or criminal? Repairing the reputation of the infosec community

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Recent legislation and media stories reflect an inaccurate, often criminal, if not confused picture of the infosec community. There is an inherit level of FUD regarding who we are and what we do, compounded by natural complexity of security issues. Without accurate and honest communication, we’ve left those outside our community to create their own definitions and understanding of infosec. The resulting perpetuation of inaccurate perceptions distorts the numerous positive contributions to and impacts on society. Perhaps unwittingly, we’ve created a reputation of being a spiteful, disorderly group incapable of providing effective security without intervention from a higher power, whether government or vendor. The current misperception that hackers are malicious by nature is largely a result of our failed relationships with media, legislators, and consumers. However, we have the power to decide what we want our reputation to be and act accordingly to shift public perception toward a more accurate reflection of who we are. This talk will provide an introduction to media engagement as a tool for reputation management as well as a suggested path forward for repairing the current reputation of the infosec community.


Melanie Ensign

Melanie is a security communications adviser, providing strategic counsel across a range of disciplines including media relations, employee awareness, incident response, hacker relations, disclosure incentives, social engagement, and public policy. She also serves as a public relations Goon for DEF CON and r00tz Asylum. She holds a Master of Science degree in corporate public relations from Boston University where she also taught courses on... Read More →

Sunday April 19, 2015 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Attendees (14)