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CISO STRESSED Episode 6 with Ed Rojas, Director of Tactical Edge.

June 28, 2021

On this episode of CISO STRESSED, SCYTHE Chief of Staff Elizabeth Wharton is joined by Ed Rojas, Director of Tactical Edge. Tactical Edge is an organization focused on creating large-scale events within Latin America for Cybersecurity and AI. Tactical Edge has grown from 200 attendees in Colombia, to 2,000 people during 2020 from all over the world. On this episode, Wharton and Rojas discuss the lessons learned from ransomware attacks like the Colonial Pipeline, and the need for large-scale events that promote information sharing and preparedness for future attacks such as these. Rojas shares his network-building experience, the blessing of making friends with some of the best in the industry, and the importance of learning from each other no matter where we are in the world.

Show Notes:

On this episode of CISO STRESSED, SCYTHE Chief of Staff Elizabeth Wharton is joined by Ed Rojas, Director Tactical Edge- an organization focused on creating large scale events in Latin America for Cybersecurity and AI. @EdgarR0jas

(5:19 – 6:56) Following the Executive Order issued by the Biden Administration, information sharing seems to be the reoccurring theme. Liz shares that after months of hearing about the Colonial Pipeline and ransomware attacks, it is important to prioritize best practices, getting on the same page. Rojas has done just that, by creating a wonderful and large-scale event that promotes community, and information sharing. 

(6:56 -8:38) Rojas shares how he’s been able to build his network. He began his consultant company a long time ago that focused primarily on cybersecurity. Ed felt that if he could bring many companies together at a large event, the marketing would take care of itself. Prioritizing the best of the best, he began reaching out within Latin America eleven years ago and eventually created the Security Zone event that hosted people from all around the world. Five years ago, Rojas returned to America and founded Tactical Edge. 

(8:41 – 9:47) “We talk all the time about wanting to share information, but do we actually do what we need to do to make that happen?” -Rojas

Rojas shares that he feels blessed to have been able to meet the best of the best in the industry, make great friends, and what an honor it is for so many talented people to accept his invitation to Columbia- putting information sharing into practice. 

The importance of creating a community -Tactical Edge has grown from creating a Columbian event with 200 people, to 2,000 people during 2020 from all over the world. 

Liz shares that after listening to the congressional hearings, discussions with SolarWinds, and the CEO of the Colonial Pipeline, everyone wants to make sure that best practices are being implemented. Therefore, it is so beneficial to have an event like Tactical Edge where CISO’s can share their research and information with one another. 

It is never just one point in time. SCYTHE continues to express the need for understanding your security posture as a constant. 

(14:23 – 14:44) “Unfortunately people from the first world countries often don’t listen to people from the third world countries, and people from the third world countries often are the ones who have to do the real work because they don’t have access to the tools. They know what they’re talking about.” -Ed

Ed enjoys the events he puts on so much, that he uses them as his vacation time, as well as time to talk with and get to know the attendees because he feels he learns a lot from them. 

(14:45 – 15:36) “Software and information systems don’t stop at boarders. They are constantly flowing everywhere, and if working remotely hasn’t taught us anything over the past year, it’s that you, your organization and your data can be anywhere.” -Liz 

(17:19 – 18:01) “the cybersecurity community in third world countries is facing the same threats as everybody else, just perhaps with different architecture and different budgets.” Neither country does it better or worse than the other, they just get to their result differently. The Third world countries must focus on the basics more. 

(20:39 – 21:43) Liz reminisces about playing with ham radios and other equipment that her grandfather built in his bomb shelter basement. He didn’t have access to certain tools during that time, so he had to become innovative and build some of his own. There are many researchers in other countries who don’t have access to certain tools and are forced to figure out a workaround. This is a great reminder to all CISO’s, that whatever your current circumstance, it is important to get creative and figure it out. 

To put it in perspective, the budget to protect the pipeline in the U.S. is larger than some Countries GDP’s. 

There is a tendency to be centric around that which is in your hometown or country. It’s important to remember that regulations differ depending on where you are in the world. 

To find out more about Ed Rojas and his company, find him on Twitter @EdgarR0jas and visit https://tacticaledge.co/en/

Liz Wharton will be joining the Tactical Edge Virtual Summit on June 23, 2021, along with many talented speakers. 


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