[Interview] Dan Mihailescu, Ixia, a Keysight business, shares what makes people work together at DefCamp

Ixia Dan Mihailescu interview
At DefCamp, partners aren’t just a name on a screen. They recognize the value of contributing to growing the community, and they walk the talk.

Partners are highly involved in setting up competitions in the Hacking Village, they share their knowledge and experience on stage, and they’re happy to guide attendees by answering any and all their questions.

Ixia is one of those partners and a key part of the regional and international infosec community. That’s exactly why we wanted to show you this year’s conference from their perspective.

One of the pieces of feedback we received is that there’s SO much going on at DefCamp that there’s a real fear of missing out. However, mixing it up a bit can be a welcome change of pace!

Our partners at Ixia noticed that what keep attendees engaged are the “hacking challenges from the Hacking Village, especially when they meet with others to brainstorm.”

As an infosec conference, we know that nothing beats getting hands-on. Here’s what else creates opportunities to connect and learn:

Products demos from the stands bring up discussions and interest, while post-presentation discussions also bring together speakers with participants.

Getting more context about the infosec industry and understanding how people work is what helps specialists go from enthusiasts to professionals. No wonder the Ixia team noticed that:

People are very interested in what type of activity we do, whether we do offensive security or security research.

One way to get your hands “dirty” is to learn what opportunities there are for infosec specialists to engage in projects that matter. We strive to make this happen by publishing helpful interviews and by bringing our partners’ teams on stage, so they go in depth about their subject matter.
Here’s what Ixia focused on this year:

We had picked a wide variety of topics for this year, our main focus being the Threat Intelligence research that we do here at Ixia.
However, topics like digital rights and net neutrality are something that affects us in our day to day work.

We not only learned about AutoHotKey Malware – The New AutoIT and Applying Honey to the Pot – The Saga of Port 5555 from Gabriel Cirlig, Senior Software Engineer, Application & Threat Intelligence at Ixia, a Keysight business, but we also debated the future of the internet and technology with Stefan Tanase, who talked about “Internet Balkanization: Why Are We Raising Borders Online?”.

Both talks were followed by intense Q&A sessions which left us wishing we had more time to spend with the speakers. Thankfully, they’re super generous and open to talking more about the subject whenever you approach them, so don’t hesitate to do so.

Asides from being organizers, our partners are also attendees, and we often seek feedback from them regarding what worked, so we’ll know to do more of it at the next conference.

The Ixia team enjoyed the fact that:

The Hacking Village had a much wider and diverse variety of challenges. Also, the lightning talks on day 2 were a very good addition for shorter talks!

If you haven’t had a chance to share your feedback on DefCamp #9, we’d love to hear from you! You can contact us on the website or pick a social media channel that works for you.

So now that DefCamp is turning 10 (no pressure!), we sought to better understand how to use this opportunity to bring infosec specialist and the business community together like never before.

We’re humbled that our partners from Ixia,  Keysight business, think that:

DefCamp is the most important security conference in this region. Being here for 10 years and improving year over year, it shows that the local and regional infosec ecosystems have reached a certain level of maturity.

Only a few weeks have passed since DefCamp #9, but we’re already planning for next year! Hang on tight because it’s going to be one wild ride!
This interview was made by Andra Zaharia. You can get in touch with her on LinkedIn or say hi on Twitter.

DefCamp is powered by Orange Romania, and it’s organized by the Association “Research Center for Information Security in Romania” (CCSIR).
DefCamp 2018 is sponsored by Ixia, Keysight Business, SecureWorks and Intralinks as Platinum Partners and it’s supported by IPSX, Bit Sentinel, TAD Group, Enevo, Crowdstrike, CryptoCoin.pro, Siemens, Alef, UiPath, Atos and Kaspersky Lab.

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