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Preview: Suits and Spooks New York City, The ‘Anti Conference’

Suits and Spooks New York Preview

Where else would you find bankers, consultants, former intelligence officials, and academics in one room, discussing cybersecurity challenges? At Spooks and Suits, which kicks off its two-day security extravaganza at New York’s Dream Downtown hotel on June 20-21.

Suits and Spooks New York Preview

Where else would you find bankers, consultants, former intelligence officials, and academics in one room, discussing cybersecurity challenges? At Spooks and Suits, which kicks off its two-day security extravaganza at New York’s Dream Downtown hotel on June 20-21.

Attendees will range from special operations forces personnel, security researchers, financial intelligence experts, and members of academia. Members of public, private, defense, law enforcement, and intelligence sectors will be present.

“It’s always an interesting lineup from the agendas I’ve seen and, honestly, it was the unplanned discussions that really fascinated me last time. I hope for more of the same in New York,” said Ali-Reza Anghaie, a senior analyst at Wikistrat and lead security architect at an undisclosed security startup.

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Range of Topics Covered

The guest list of 22 speakers includes military veterans, financial forensics and intelligence experts, and venture capitalists. Nathaniel Fick, CEO of Endgame, and Dale Wooden, founder and principal of Weathered Security, will draw upon their military and combat experience to discuss security lessons for organizations. Several speakers will discuss possible models and approaches for public-private partnerships.

Anghaie will be participating in a panel discussion on improving public-private security partnerships. “It’s time for more agile and independent working groups solving live problems and not just incident response histories,” Anghaie said.

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Adam C. Firestone, senior vice-president and general manager at Kaspersky Government Security Solutions will discuss its approach in building a novel public-private partnership model with the U.S. government. There is only so much the private sector can do when cyber-attackers are across borders and their operations transcend national boundaries. Governments, likewise, also face limitations that may not apply to private sector organizations. A partnership allows both the private and public sector to work together effectively, Firestone said.

The “Anti-Conference”

Considering most major security conferences are noisy, overwhelming, and commercialized, Suits and Spooks sets itself apart by its small size and focus on a handful of topics, making it the “Anti-conference.”

The premise is simple: nobody is secure and the existing framework is broken. The goal is to bring together people who ordinarily don’t have the opportunity to be in the same room so that they can engage in an honest discussion about key security challenges.

“I really enjoy the smaller group, the format that encourages debate, and the flexible ideologies without an entrenched popularity echo chamber,” said Anghaie.

Suits and Spooks NYC will have over 20 speakers over two days addressing topics ranging from financial intelligence, special operations, information security, money laundering, and the protection of critical infrastructure.

With the increased focus on critical infrastructure security, it is clear that attackers won’t need a lot of sophisticated expertise but just a lot of determination to put together available tools. Suits and Spooks is different from other conferences because there will be a sizable audience “interested in control system cyber security,” said Joe Weiss, a managing partner with Applied Control Solutions and a confirmed speaker. “Cyber can defeat the resiliency in the grid,” Weiss warned.

If past Suits and Spooks events are any guide, speakers will be challenged with questions from the audience immediately, and the discussions can get heated. But that kind of atmosphere forces a brutally honest conversation, which is what Carr expects. Many of the attendees are from government agencies or related organizations, and many others are from large private sector companies. By providing the attendees the opportunity to talk with each other, these individuals can go back to their workplace and spread what they learned and apply new concepts to improve overall security.

A single-track conference with 12 sessions, Suits and Spooks is the brainchild of Jeffrey Carr, author of “Inside Cyber Warfare,” and was run under the auspices of Carr’s company Taia Global. Wired Business Media, publisher of SecurityWeek, acquired Suits and Spooks this spring and will hold the New York City event in June. Other events will follow in Washington, D.C., London, and Singapore. More information is available on the Suits and Spooks website.

A limited number of seats are still available. Register today to take advantage of a one-time $100 discount that will only be available for the next 24 hours.

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