It was September 28th, 2014 and we drove from the DerbyCon conference which was in Louisville, KY to Atlanta, Georgia. We got there a few minutes before the(ISC)2 Town Hall meeting. For the very first time, I met Hord Tipton, the former Executive Director of (ISC)2, now succeeded by David Shearer. Hord had suggested to my dad, Mano Paul, that I should come and speak in the town hall, and he introduced me to about 200+ security professional members of (ISC)2.
My talk was called “Creating a Safe and Secure Cyber World for Kids (by a Kid)”. I spoke about the importance of teaching kids information security, cyber security threats such as cyberbullying and demoed one of the apps called ‘Cracker Proof’ that I had written for the iOS platform, which teaches about building strong passwords. At first, I felt kinda nervous, but I think I still did a pretty good job.
I couldn’t do a live demonstration, because of some technical difficulties of getting the video from the podium and so so my assistant (actually my dad :-)) did the demo from the back, as I walked him through it. The first two tweets about my talk was by Peggy Smith, Manager of Member Services at (ISC)2 and Erich Kron, Director of Member Services. Thank you Peggy and Erich. :-). The video of my talk is given below. Please watch it, and if you like it, let me know and share with others.
Then we went back to the hotel we were staying in, and found out that the video of my talk at DerbyCon, (two days ago) had just been uploaded to YouTube, and so we watched that, and then we went to the swimming pool and had some fun in the pool and hot tub.
The next morning my dad and I, went to do my interview with Anne Saita, the editor of InfoSec Professional for the November/December issue. Amanda D’Alessandro, the manager of Global Communications at (ISC)2 had graciously arranged for this. Thank you Amanda. The link to my published article is given at the end of this writeup.
After the interview, Richard Nealon one of the (ISC)2 board members introduced us to Eleanor Dallaway, the editor of InfoSecurity magazine (UK) who also tweeted some very nice words about me. Thanks Eleanor. 🙂
We then met Hord Tipton, who was gracious to invite us to lunch with him. At lunch, Hord introduced my dad and me, to Michael Stack, the CEO of ASIS, and I got a chance to take a picture in between these two Security leaders. 🙂
At that time, I also found out that my opening address at (ISC)2 Security Congress town hall meeting (the previous evening) was reported in the ASIS daily newspaper.
Then we went to a talk where the speaker was speaking about how to inject malware into mobile applications and make a SpyPhone. I could not fully understand the entire talk, but my dad made it easy for me to understand by drawing pictures and showing me how malware injection works. I want to be a Cyber Spy when I grow up and so I thought that this talk was pretty cool. [Note to self: Need to see if I can hack my dad’s phone and use it to spy on him :-)]
Then I attended a panel on “DevOps and Application Security” in which my dad, was one of the panelist along with Josh Corman (Founder of I am the Cavalry), Tim Virtue (CISO of TX), and Chris Romeo (Chief Security Advocate at Cisco). The panel was moderated by Tony Vargas who asked if I could be the time keeper. I thought about taking my dad’s spot on the panel but he booted me out … lol.
After the panel, Josh Corman gave me an “I am the Cavalry” sticker, which I thought was pretty cool. Thanks Josh 🙂 It was also nice to hear him speak at the ISLA dinner on “I am the Cavalry” movement and encourage each one of us to be part of this great movement.
Then I met my dad’s friend, Tom Brennan ((ISC)2 Application Security Advisory Council (ASAC) member and OWASP Director) and gave him one of my business card, which he tweeted out with the note “The most interesting person at (ISC)2 Security Congress.” Thanks Tom. 🙂
After this, I took some pictures with some nice gentlemen who had heard my talk at the Town Hall the previous evening, and asked if they could take pictures with me. Even though, I know that I am not, I felt like a celebrity :-). I also got a chance to meet Jessie Smith, Senior Manager of Membership, Marketing and Media Services at (ISC)2 and take a picture with her. I had heard so many good things about Jessie and her sister Peggy Smith, from my dad, and it was good to meet her in person. She was really nice to me.
Then we sat down to use my computer and I checked my twitter account, responding to tweets about my talk in DerbyCon, which was going viral (Thanks to Ed Skoudis, Dave Kennedy, Jayson Street & others who had said some nice words about me). At that time, Alan Daines, CISO of Dell, who was a colleague of my dad, when he used to work in Dell met with us.
We then met Dennis Hurst, who came to speak with my dad about starting a HackFormers Atlanta chapter. Dennis is a good friend of my dad from many years ago.
After this, we went to the speaker social get-together at the Bier Garten (I believe that means Beer Garden). I was underage to go, but they still let me in, but the look on the faces of the attendants who were serving was “priceless”, when I posed with a drink in my hand, (along with my dad and Tom Brennan). It was only a Coca-cola kind. :-).
At the speaker social, I shared the table with Elise Yacobellis from (ISC)2, Dan Waddell, (ISC)2 Board member, who encouraged me with kind words, and later spoke about me, inside the Pentagon (Thanks Dan). I also met Glenn Johnson, a friend of my dad, who taught me a cool trick how to bend spoons 😉 and told me to try them with my mama’s silverware. I told him that my mom won’t be that pleased when she sees me do that trick :-).
It was a pleasure to meet the InfoSec Cynic Javvad Malik, who not only has some really cool videos but also has an interesting business card, especially if you are dating someone (Make sure you ask him the next time you see him) and Marcela Mikowski, Membership Events Marketing Planner from (ISC)2.
The next day we went to the Georgia Aquarium and and spent the day there. It was so cool to see the albino alligator, piranhas, beluga whales, chimaeras and all the other beautiful fishes, especially the whale shark that swam around us. Then my brother and I played in the penguin area, and had the penguins follow our streamer, which was really funny and awesome.
The following day, I joined my dad for his book signing, but I never got to sign anything 🙂 One day, I will have my own book to sign, I am sure and am looking forward to it.
After the book signing, I attended my dad’s really cool talk with demos on using the Kali Linux OS to pentest Web applications. I got to see some scanning tools, sqlmap and BeEF, and got a better understanding of SQL Injection and XSS.
Then we went as a family and met the ASIS’ Certification manager, Allison Barton, who is a friend of my dad and took some cool pictures with her and ASIS Professional Certification Board member, Dana Adams for the Certification newsletter.
That evening, I went to the Americas Information Security Leadership Awards (ISLA) awards at Hard Rock cafe. We got delayed because my dad couldn’t find that place. He said that he thought that“the GPS was probably fried” :-). When we got there, I was given a VIP badge, which felt so good and I felt humbled again to receive such honor and recognition.
At the ISLA, the emcee was Jennifer Minella, (ISC)2 Board member, who was dressed like the singer, Madonna (not somebody, I know), along with Hord Tipton, who was dressed like Hord (all Executive) 🙂
After the presentation of the President’s award, the ISLA awards were presented, which reminded me of my first ISLA award meeting in 2011, where my dad won the first ever ISLA for his work in Information Security. That day, in his thank you speech, he had called me his “padawan”, and now it felt the “padawan” was learning to become a “Jedi” knight. 🙂
After the award ceremony, I got to meet with the Global Security Strategist for Rapid7, Trey Ford, who told us that he was from Austin as well and that he had ridden his motorcycle all the way to Atlanta. He was such a cool person to meet with.
We also took lots of pictures in the Photo Booth that Jessie and team had arranged – and my little brother and me almost broke the red button which when pressed would take the picture. I think the lady at the booth was not very happy as she kept saying “STOP”, “STOP”, “STOP” 🙂 but guess what, kids will be kids and when they see shiny red buttons, unlike adults (most of whom have forgotten the kid in them), will press it (especially if it says, press here to take a picture) 🙂
The next day we drove home for over a thousand miles. On my way home, I thought of the wonderful experience at (ISC)2 Security Congress, and was very thankful to Hord Tipton and team for giving me the opportunity to do the opening keynote at their Town Hall meeting.
Till we meet again, (ISC)2, thank you, thank you, thank you :-). I was so happy to be part of the (ISC)2 family and I can not wait to come back to your next Security Congress, and hopefully one day, just as my dad stood proudly and received the ISLA award, I look forward to the same as well, although I may need a chair to stand on, so that I can reach the mic over the podium, and give my thank you note 🙂
Originally published in Prudent Games website blog.
(ISC)2 Security Congress 2014 Town Hall Opening Address
InfoSec Professional Nov/Dec 2014 issue > Reuben Paul: The Eight-Year-Old CEO wants to create a safe and secure cyber world for kids (and their parents)