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What is the RANT Forum?

Filed under: Features — Mark on September 26, 2013

Those working in information security, perhaps more than any other branch of IT, need to stay up to date and on top of the latest news and issues. This is far from just a matter of keeping up with the latest tech trends in order to simply create a convincing personal image. Rather, a deep knowledge of current security developments is an absolute professional necessity.

However, part of the problem in keeping up with cyber security developments is the sheer range of subject matter falling under the information security umbrella. From access control, to cryptography, to malware, hacking, industrial espionage, and the threat of cyber terrorism, the list is seemingly endless. In these circumstances, it can be hard to sort the wheat from the chaff, and figure out the true top priorities for the coming weeks and months. While the plethora of security blogs, newsfeeds, and updates from the major players in the security industry of-course can help, nothing beats contact with fellow professionals; especially when it comes to finding out what’s on their minds right now.

After all, being a security professional in a corporation or large organisation can be a somewhat lonely business. Security specialists often find that there are not many other people with anything close to their job description in their organisation, especially at the executive level. It can therefore be stimulating and refreshing to have some regular contact with fellow security professionals, people who share your exact same concerns, within a convivial, sociable, whilst always informative, environment.

So what’s the solution?

This is exactly where the RANT Forum comes in. The RANT (Risk and Network Threat) Forum, at its regular gatherings, hosted in various cities UK cities, gives IT security managers, CISOs, and various other security professionals, the opportunity to get together, talk about pressing issues of the day, and share ideas. The community has been running for around six years now, and the event takes place on the last Wednesday of every month, usually consisting of a combination of open network and a talk from an expert speaker. The talk is then followed by open discussion.

Previous meetings have included, for example, the following speakers and subjects:

– Vincent Blake, Raytheon’s Head of Cyber Security, talking about user behaviour, how it traditionally challenges any set of security policies and what steps can be taken mitigate this and keep users on track.

– Scott Barnett speaking on denial-of-service (DOS) attacks, under the engaging title “Who turned the lights off?” Barnett covered what exactly DOS attacks consist of and who typically perpetrates them, while also recommending some effective defence measures.

What’s still on the agenda?

A forthcoming talk from Barry Coatesworth, an established IT security expert, will be touching on the intriguing subject of social engineering or, as he refers to it in his title, ‘The Art of Seduction’. Coatesworth plans to talk about malign use of marketing techniques, particularly as they relate, for instance, to phishing.

All in all, RANT is a unique forum for UK IT security professionals, providing some great opportunities for them to keep on top of the most pressing current issues.

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