Leaving Las Vegas: A Black Hat Salute

The Crushman

Andrew Cushman

Security Director

Cranberry juice (thanks Jay!)

Super helpful hotel desk clerks (thanks Raoul?)

What can I say? Once again, Black Hat did not disappoint. And that’s not just post-party speak. The conversations were good, the input was invaluable, and the support for the new programs we launched—well, it’s been overwhelming. The vibe in the MSRC “Helping Secure the Planet” presentation was great, the audience was engaged and had plenty of questions and Mike, Katie and Steve demonstrated the depth of talent and commitment in the MSRC. We’re excited to take that momentum and move it forward.

Our hats are off to the awesome Black hat team for putting on another great conference. I only wish I could have made it into more sessions. Among briefings with media on our news, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, and fielding a steady flow of invite requests for the party, the time just flew by. But hey, I did manage to introduce Rod Beckstrom for his keynote and got a tweet in on that.

And how about Twitter? I didn’t imagine I would enjoy it so much and who’d have thought it would drive so much conversation at the show? We had fun participating and watching the discussions unfold. It’s been a great channel to share news and carry on further about some of the presentations and event happenings. I especially enjoyed Ryan Naraine’s play-by-play at the Pwnie Awards.

And about the Pwnie Awards, I want to echo my thanks for the “Most Epic Fail” Honorable Mention. Rest assured we’ll be back next year with the same commitment to security engineering!

I’m also really excited about our new EcoStrat blog (http://blogs.technet.com/ecostrat/). The team has written some great posts. The blog provides an opportunity for the EcoStrat team to “show our work” and provide a good look behind the scenes on what we’re doing and how we’re working with the broader security community. We will continue to take advantage of opportunities so as to continue a dialogue.

This week really has solidified a fundamental shift for Microsoft and it’s been refreshing to see that shift in perception and reception towards us at the conference—from what used to be a focus on free drinks and invites to a genuine interest in what we’re offering and how we’re engaged in the security community.

I’m sure good times were had by all here at the show, and our hope, and commitment, is that what happened in Vegas, particularly what we announced in Vegas, does not stay in Vegas.

– Andrew Cushman

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