The Return of Local In-Person Gatherings

“This is the first in-person cybersecurity event I have been to since March 2020.” This jarring statement rang true for many attendees last night at the ‘New York Information Security Meetup’, hosted by David Raviv.

The Data Connectors Team supports local cybersecurity-related gatherings all over North America, as a way to bring the community to more professionals.  This week, New York City Area CSO Michael Hiskey and Marketing team member Emily Ramsey attended the New York Information Security Meet-up, along with numerous cybersecurity field experts. The lineup included Keith Sazer from Community Partner CriticalStart, Jeff Hudesman, Chief Security Officer & VP of Information Security at DailyPay, and Doug Britton, Founder of Haystack Solutions.

Critical Start’s team talked about the importance of cybersecurity in the lives of regular citizens, and Keith related a personal experience from his days on Wall Street in the financial sector and transition to the MDR provider. CATA Doug Britton NYIS Meetup 3 Aug 2021

Veteran US Army linguist Doug Britton talked about the Cyber Aptitude and Talent Assessment (CATA), which the firm he founded is now making commercially available.  Organizations use the assessment to uncover the natural proclivity individuals have, and how they potentially align to cybersecurity roles. 

Look for Doug at the Philadelphia Virtual Cybersecurity Summit next month, talking with expert panelists on the “Cybersecurity Skills Shortage.”   

The agenda covered a wide range of hot topics in cybersecurity, including a personal narrative from Doug Britton who experienced first-hand the effects of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware hack. Britton admitted that the panic of searching miles to find no gas was just as terrifying as the COVID-19 pandemic — further proving how critical cybersecurity is for national security.

Copy of Reflections on the Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack - with John Felker

When this attack first happened, Data Connectors sat down with John Felker, former Assistant Director for the Department of Homeland Security Cyber Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) for a LinkedIn Live Briefing. He discussed what was compromised, and how; where attackers likely entered; what is known about the DarkSide Russian Cybercrime ring involved.

One of the most engaged CSOs one could find in a FinTech start-up would have to be Jeff Hudesman. DailyPay, which enables employees of large firms like McDonalds, DollarTree, and T-Mobile to get advances on their paychecks.  Jeff spoke about the robust defenses his team put in place to combat these threats and keep DailyPay’s customers secure. With access to all of that Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and financial institution detail, you can be they see their fair share of credential-stuffing, identity theft, and other attacks, just as the large banks do.  Jeff talked a bit about the role of a CSO in a start-up, and many of the unique challenges therein.

Along with the discussions of cybersecurity’s effects in our day-to-day lives, the major takeaway from this meet-up was that people are ready to network and connect in person again. However, the ongoing concerns of the pandemic still limit large gatherings from taking place in many places.

In a recent poll, Jerod Brennen asked his LinkedIn followers how soon they plan on returning to conference life. Over 50% responded with “Bring it! I’m ready now.” While some Community.

Virtual Summits Infographic thumbnail 

Members choose to travel to BlackHat this year, many stayed home – we’ll know more as that event wraps-up in Las Vegas.  As was posited in this infographic, community survey data points to members preferring a mix of in-person regional conferences in nearby cities and virtual gatherings for the immediate future.

As restrictions fluctuate, and the desire to return to in-person continues to rise, the industry that thrives on networking must continuously adapt. Data Connectors was the first to transition to Virtual Summits, and are now hosting a handful of live conferences this fall and winter.

David Raviv, cyber security industry veteran and a startup enthusiast founded the New York Information Security Meetup in January 2013 and has held over 120 gatherings. The community consists of 5,500 security professionals from the New York Tri-State area.  David said, “People crave the human connection. Despite hosting on-line events a couple of times a week, being in front of a screen is no substitute to rubbing shoulders with fellow practitioners,” when we spoke this week.  When not hosting events, David is the general manager for, a company set to disrupt how enterprise handles supply chain cyber risk.


The first in-person gathering will take place as a follow-up to the New England Virtual Cybersecurity Summit on Wednesday, August 18th.  That will be an in-person happy hour gathering for those who attended the Virtual Summit.  Join Hartford-area Community Members on Thursday, August 19th, for the New England Cybersecurity Community Rooftop Party & Networking Reception.  

Hartford Rooftop Reception Graphic

We hope to see you there!

The Return of Local In-Person Gatherings

Hot Topics in Cybersecurity Posted by Michael Hiskey on Aug 4, 2021

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