03 November 2016
Blogs by author: Global Services, We’re a leading global business communications provider
Investing in the future of cyber security is vital. So find out what happened when we sent three of our finest young minds to Day-Con X.
Arming the security specialists of tomorrow
The world of cyber security changes so quickly, it can be hard to keep up. And that can cause real problems for organisations around the world, as hackers create new and more dangerous ways to exploit vulnerabilities.
It’s important to stay on top of threats — those emerging now and the ones yet to come. That’s why we invest in future cyber security experts via our graduate programme. And we make sure they’re armed with all the knowledge they need.
Learning from the best at Day-Con X
Recently, we sent Taylor, Matt and Peter, three of our security graduates, to Day-Con X — a specialist forward-thinking conference that takes an in-depth look at the future problems and solutions for the cyber security industry.
Here’s what they all made of the experience.
Being new to BT and the world of cyber security, I didn’t know what to expect coming into Day-Con. I can gladly say that my experience was exciting, surprising and I learned a lot.
My first day at Day-Con X began with the Inaugural Women in IT Cyber Forum. Several women, including BT’s own Kate Kuehn, working in different capacities discussed questions and concerns about being in an industry that lacks a strong female presence. The theme of the panel was to cultivate environments where women are free to excel in any industry, not to fill a quota, but to build a workplace with a natural balance of males and females.
The next day featured many interesting and informative speakers. They discussed topics like voice verification, translating code and the lifecycle of the Internet of Things (IoT). Then, that night was the official Day-Con X after-party. There were food trucks, a fashion show and an awesome performance by DualCore Music.
Overall, Day-Con X was nothing like I thought it would be — in a good way. And I learned so much about the cyber security industry.
Attending Day-Con X was an incredibly insightful experience. The combination of iconic personalities and technical expertise formed a unique culture that you’d struggle to find anywhere else. And this culture fostered honest and useful discussions about the future of how we interact with the digital world around us.
I attended a number of closed-door sessions, in which we discussed an array of topics — including email security, botnets and biomedical implants. The theme running through each of them was identifying our ever-increasing vulnerabilities, and the attacks hackers could use to exploit them.
A key takeaway I got from the sessions was that this is not going to occur 15 or 20 years down the road. Many vulnerabilities already exist, with more and more appearing by the day. And hackers are already well ahead of the game — creating, testing and refining ways to exploit these weaknesses.
Day-Con X was a three-day whirlwind of learning, provocative discussion and an incredible amount of fun. Having the opportunity to pick the brains of some of the people at the forefront of internet security was a truly unique and enlightening experience. I feel that I learned so much from it, and I had a lot fun doing it. I can’t wait to go back in 2017 for Day-Con XI.
When I first heard that I would be going to Day-Con, I was excited to go to my first Security Conference. However, when the day actually arrived, my excitement changed to anxiety, as I was worried that the technical jargon would utterly confuse me. I’m pleased to say though, that going to Day-Con X was probably the best decision I’ve ever made.
Moving on to the next day, the highlight of Day-Con X for me was the PacketWars battle, a ‘capture the flag’ hacking competition. I was ready to root for the BT team in this competition — until I discovered that Taylor, Matt and I would end up participating as well. I would call it a trial by fire. None of us had any technical expertise in penetration testing or using Linux, but it was extremely fun, and I’m so grateful to have done it. Matt and I have both expressed our desire to do PacketWars again. But, next time, we’ll be slightly more prepared for it…
To recap, I went into Day-Con X expecting the worst, and left with a longing to come back soon.
The trip to Day-Con X was just one way we work to prepare our security graduates for a successful career in the industry. Discover more about our graduate programme, and learn how you could influence the future of technology at BT.