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Actor, banker, soldier, spy: Suits and Spooks Anti-Conference aims to redefine security

Feb 08, 20124 mins
Data and Information SecurityIT Leadership

I’ll confess straightaway that the headline to this post was stolen directly from the event press release. The reason is simple: It got my attention.

My colleague Michael Cooney came up to me yesterday and asked if I was going to a conference called “Suits and Spooks.” I had to sheepishly look him in the eye and admit that I’d never heard of it. He sent me the link and I was immediately sucked in by the list of speakers. Some are old friends, like Christopher Burgess, chief security officer and president of Public Sector at Atigeo, LLC, and Dan Geer, CISO at In-Q-Tel. Then there are people like Indian-American actress Janina Gavankar. What’s that all about, I asked myself.

The press release for this event, being held today in Arlington, Va. at the Waterview Conference Center, says:

“When was the last time you were in a conference room with a Hollywood actress, the CISO of In-Q-Tel, two product managers from DARPA, an expert in money laundering, a world-class hacker, a spokesman for George Clooney’s Satellite Sentinel Project, an expert on open source warfare, and a former CIA station chief — all looking critically at the current state of information security?”

“Never,” I thought to myself. I mean, I’ve been in rooms with all these types. Just not in the same room at the same time.

In an industry where conferences have become loud, commercial affairs, I’m always on the lookout for something new. That’s what attracted me to ShmooCon and B-Sides. Suits and Spooks may well take the cake.

More from the press release:

As cyber attacks increase in quantity and complexity, organizations face mounting financial and strategic risks directly resulting from their dependence on flawed and outdated information security models.

Held in Washington, DC on February 8, 2012, the new edition of the Suits and Spooks Anti-Conference, “Suits and Spooks II – Shaping a Revolution in Security Affairs” will address the issue of information security systems in free-fall, and seek new, innovative solutions. The one-day event will host a multi-disciplinary set of innovators and disruptive thinkers. Its informal setting will allow extensive interaction and collaboration among speakers and attendees, aiming to produce new thinking on how to re-shape information security.

“Suits and Spooks” is the creation of Jeffrey Carr, author of Inside Cyber Warfare, and founder and CEO of executive cyber protection firm Taia Global, Inc. –

The conference is open to all.


February 8, 2012 – 7:30AM to 4:30PM

Waterview Conference Center

1919 North Lynn Street, Arlington, VA 22209

Speaker Topics

The Principle of Self Defense for Covert Cyber Operations

Catherine Lotrionte | Executive Director, Institute for Law, Science & Global Security, Georgetown University

The Satellite Sentinel Project: Making the World a Witness

Jonathan Hutson | Spokesperson of the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP)

Knowing the Unknown Unknown | Moving from Guessing, to Knowing, to Insight, to Action.

Christopher Burgess | Chief Security Officer, President of the Public Sector,Atigeo, LLC.

Exploiting Seams

Randy Garrett | Program Manager, DARPA

Open Source Conflict: The Dynamics of 21st Century Insurgency and Cyberwarfare

John Robb | Author of Brave New War

Sex, Crypto-Currency, Money Laundering, Drugs, Guns, and Cornfields: A Dwolla story

Ben Milne | CEO and Co-Founder of DWOLLA

People in the Infosec Loop: Failsafe or Liability

Dan Geer | CISO of In-Q-Tel

Q&A | How Janina Discovered a Solution for Data Challenges Faced by Actors through the use of Open Source Tools

Janina Gavankar | Actress and Founder of Posterous Spaces for Actors

Theft of a Nation, The Infosec Abomination and Flipping It on Its Head

Anup Ghosh | Founder and Chief Executive at Invincea

Big Data For Little Brother: How Social Media Inverted The Relationship Between ‘Influencers’ and ‘Influenced

Jodee Rich | CEO and Founder of PeopleBrowsr

It’s a shame it’s in Virginia. If it were in Boston, I’d be there.

Here’s hoping the organizers take this thing on the road. It looks like the last one was in Palo Alto in September, so I have high hope.