The Black Hat and Def Con cybersecurity events are the most highly anticipated of the year. Each event had an in-person component this year and OODA CEO Matt Devost provides his observations from each event.
Each year, there are one or two books that deeply resonate with me and become sticky in that I’m thinking about the book often, bringing it up in conversations, and sending out unsolicited recommendations for executives and researchers in my network to check it out. Jer Thorp’s “Living in Data: A Citizen’s Guide to a Better Information Future” was that book for me in 2021 so I was delighted to host Jer for a conversation on the OODAcast.
er Thorp is an artist, writer and teacher living in New York City. He is best known for designing the algorithm to place the nearly 3,000 names on the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan. Jer was the New York Times’ first Data Artist in Residence, is a National Geographic Explorer, and in 2017 and 2018 served as the Innovator in Residence at the Library of Congress. Jer is one of the world’s foremost data artists, and is a leading voice for the ethical use of big data.
In this OODAcast, we talk with renowned counter-terrorism expert and career clandestine services professional Cofer Black. Cofer is best known for having been the Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center on 9/11 and having been part of the intelligence community warning about the near-term threat of terrorism in the United States prior to the attacks. However, his pedigree in counterterrorism issues was well established with a distinguished career in the field in high-risk areas and operations.
This week’s OODAcast is with Kim Zetter, an incredibly well respected journalist who has been covering cybersecurity related issues for two decades. Matt Devost talks with Kim about a wide variety of cyber-related issues including a deep dive into Stuxnet and the implications for today’s security environment. Kim also shares details as to how she got into the field and how she developed relationships with the hacker community via her longstanding attendance at Def Con.
Nate Fick’s career has been eclectic, but with a common element of demonstrating superior leadership abilities in a diverse array of successful opportunities. Nate is currently a General Manager at Elastic, having joined the firm with their acquisition of Endgame where he served as CEO.
In an article entitled “The international environment and countermeasures of network governance during the “14th Five-Year Plan” period” by Xu Xiujun (徐秀军) in the February 27, 2021 edition of China Information Security, we see the continuation of China’s concerns over Weaponized Interdependence and China’s desire to shape a global technology and economic environment that is less influenced by Western power. Xiujun identifies concerns in several interconnected areas including cybersecurity, economic centralization, and advancement in technologies like AI, Quantum, and 5G.
As a logger and holstein farmer, my grandfather was heavily dependent on the weather for his livelihood. Each year, he purchased a copy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac and it was kept in an easily accessible reading spot for reference. Taken on a day by day basis, the Farmer’s Almanac was not the greatest of guides, but if you took it on a month-by-month basis it claims about an 80% accuracy, which was more than enough to guide generalized decisions about logging and farming environments in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.
The OODA Almanac proposes to identify those topics and patterns we see having significance in 2021 to guide your short and long-term decision making. Over the course of 2021, we will continue to inject additional observations on these topics into our analysis or as stand-alone tidbits of observed intelligence (OODINT).
Michele Wucker is specialist in risk management and crisis anticipation and is author of the book “The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore”. While we’ve all become familiar with Taleb’s concept of Black Swans, we must equally become intimately aquatinted with Wucker’s Gray Rhinos as they provide more obvious opportunities for actually anticipating and managing risk.
During this interview, Michele takes us through the concept of Gray Rhinos with real-world historical examples, discussion of future Gray Rhinos, and strategies for engaging in real actions to identify, respond to, and mitigate future Gray Rhinos in business, society, and global affairs. The concept of a Gray Rhino is hugely important and has become embedded in how we evaluate risks at OODA with our customers.
Former CIA Officer Rob Richer on the Geopolitical Landscape, Leadership Lessons Learned, and Supporting Decision-makers
Rob Richer is a highly regarded advisor to international executives and global government leaders including several heads of state. Rob has a well informed perspective on international risks and opportunities and an ability to analyze and distill observations in a way that is meaningful for your decision making process. In this OODAcast we cover the current state of global and domestic affairs, key leadership and decision-making lessons learned derived from Rob’s extensive CIA career.
As a bonus, we talk to Rob about how the character Mitch Rapp is based upon him. Rapp is the main character in a 18 book series by the late bestselling author Vince Flynn. One of the books was also produced into the film American Assassin.
This week’s OODAcast features an interview with Camila Russo, the author of the book “The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-hackers Is Building the Next Internet with Ethereum”. Camila is also the founder of the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) site The Defiant, which tracks developments, emerging trends, and news in the fast moving DeFi space.
In this interview, Camila shares how her experience covering fiat currency issues as a reporter for Bloomberg sparked her interest in Bitcoin and how she focused her attention on the Ethereum project early in its development. We discuss Camila’s book and the emergence of Ethereum as well as the most interesting applications of Ethereum, future disruptions, and the general trends driving the DeFi space.