Hello!  My name is Debbie Wilcox and I’m a Security Program Manager in the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC).  I just got back from my very first Black Hat Conference and I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, even though I’d heard stories from various co-workers.  As a self-declared non-geek, I was afraid I’d be out-geeked and way out of my league, but that wasn’t the case.  Well, for the most part.  J

A few of the briefings had titles that were misleading to me so some of the content wasn’t completely what I expected.  I’ll know better for next year!  But even so, most of them were intriguing as they gave me a peek into what the security community deems as exciting.  You could tell purely by the size of the room and how full it was as to how “sexy” that topic had been deemed by both the conference organizers and the attendees.  I also attended a couple of talks that interested me on a personal level, regarding securing personal information and the controversy about a national identification card.  The crowd turned hostile on that last one!  I felt bad for the panel as they aren’t the ones implementing the program, but they were definitely taking some heat for it!

Speaking of heat….it’s always interesting to see the mixed reactions when I told people I work for Microsoft.  Some people love us and some people, well….don’t. J  I did get the impression that people feel we are making great progress in how we’re handling security, and that’s great!  But I still feel we have some progress to make to convince everyone we’re doing the right thing.  And if you don’t think we’re doing the right thing, please let us know as I’d love to hear your comments and see what I can do!

Probably the best thing about Black Hat was getting to know some of the people I work with outside of the company.  I had a chance to meet other security professionals as well as security researchers, some of whom I’ve exchanged mail with over the past 6 months.  It’s always nice to put faces with names!  Some of the venues made it difficult to really get into some deep discussions (too noisy), but I know that we established the roots for some relationships that will hopefully continue to flourish over the years.

See you at Black Hat 2006!

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