Five Questions with Dark Reading Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson

Jul 23, 2019 Tiffany Darmetko

As the cyber world gears up for Black Hat Las Vegas in August, the InkHouse Security Practice presents Black Hat: Under the Hood, a special content series designed to bring you the inside scoop on what’s on the minds of members of the infosec community, from respected journalists covering the security beat (and the event) to talented threat researchers who’ll be attending and showcasing their latest work.  

We begin our series with a bang by chatting with veteran editor Tim Wilson of Dark Reading:

Q: As Editor-in-Chief of Black Hat’s main media partner, what are your thoughts on the evolution of the conference and where it’s grown to today?

[Tim Wilson]: Black Hat remains the security industry’s most important conference from a news perspective. Literally every session, whether Briefings or Arsenal, introduces something entirely new. The Briefings sessions are primarily revelations of new vulnerabilities – some of them critical – that security pros need to be aware of. The Arsenal demonstrates new tools that also break new ground. In recent years, Black Hat has also added a wide variety of additional content as well, including tracks around best practices, innovation, and the security community.

Q: What are some trending topics you expect to take center stage this year?

[Tim Wilson]: There are some very interesting talks around human issues – social networking vulnerabilities, behavioral exploits, social engineering. Researchers are looking into ways to further use human actions and foibles to gain access to credentials and sensitive data. The 2019 Black Hat Attendee Survey also focuses on user and consumer issues, shedding some light on what online behaviors and risks consumers should be more aware of.

Q: What does Dark Reading have going on at Black Hat this year? How will you be spending your time?  

[Tim Wilson]: Dark Reading’s most visible presence at Black Hat is the Dark Reading News Desk, where we do live interviews with researchers and experts for several hours on each day of the show. The interviews are livestreamed to audiences at the show and across the Web, so that both people who are there and people who aren’t will have a chance to get some of the highlights. In addition, Dark Reading does a daily newsletter for registered readers and attendees, and we are hosting four sessions in various tracks. And, of course, we do more coverage of the show than any other publication on the planet – we posted more than 40 stories last year.

Q: For vendors looking to get reporters’ attention, any advice for them specific to Black Hat?

[Tim Wilson]: I think the main thing for vendors is to remember that most of the news comes out of the sessions – disclosures of new vulnerabilities and tools. Your best bet is to connect your product news to the sessions that are happening at the show – demonstrate how your technology might help identify or resolve some of the issues that are being discussed. It’s hard to get attention for a stand-alone product release at a conference where so many new vulnerabilities are taking center stage, but if you can put your product in context of the news, it’s easier to get reporters’ attention.

Q: What are you most looking forward to this year? What gets you most excited about the event?

[Tim Wilson]: Two things. The first is just the deluge of news coming out of the Briefings and Arsenal. Dark Reading will spend the next several months investigating the various angles surrounding the vulnerability disclosures made at the show – there’s just so much material to study. The second thing I look forward to is the opportunity to see old friends and meet some of the new researchers in the security field. Exchanging email and talking on the phone are great, but Black Hat is a chance to build face-to-face relationships. Some of my best contacts and friends in the security industry are people I’ve met at Black Hat.

Tim, thanks a million for your time and insights!! 

Check back for additional Black Hat: Under the Hood content throughout the weeks leading up to the event. And if you’re headed to Las Vegas for it, email us at if you’d like to meet up onsite.  

Topics: Security, cybersecurity, 2019, Black Hat
Tiffany Darmetko

Tiffany helps tech innovators – both emerging-growth and established companies – to differentiate themselves and succeed in competitive markets through targeted and aggressive integrated communications programs. Her expertise spans markets such as cyber security, cloud computing, enterprise software and renewable energy. Tiffany has led the PR efforts of more than a dozen IT security companies, leading to numerous acquisitions. She has a B.S. in Public Relations from Boston University’s College of Communication.

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