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3 tips to get the most out of Black Hat/Defcon

Steve Ragan | July 10, 2017
For seven days each year, Las Vegas becomes home to thousands of hackers and security professionals. Here's how to get the most out of your annual trip.


All work and no play:

Most of you attending one of the three conferences later this month will be on the clock. That's fine, but remember to take some downtime because the hectic schedule of managing three conferences in a week is exhausting.

While on the topic of work, remember that public networks are just that – public. If your organization offers a VPN, make sure you use it whenever you access company assets (data, systems, etc.). If possible, avoid doing work on the show floor, and instead use that time to educate yourself by visiting booths, attending a talk or two, or just interacting with your peers.


Bonus tips:

  • Money -  Credit cards are common for anyone who is visiting Vegas for work, but don't forget to keep some cash on you. Also, the ATM fees are outrageous in Las Vegas casinos, so remember to bring cash with you if possible. (Yes, fake ATMs have been a thing at DEF CON, but that hasn't happened in a year or so.)

  • Make Friends - Seriously, if the choice is between a talk or social interaction, go with social every time.

  • OpSec isn't just a phrase - When you're out making friends, remember not to discuss or allude to sensitive topics, especially those that are related to future projects or plans at work.


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