Event to grow 63% with new features such as Black Hat Campus, Deep Dive Stage, Investor Program, and CyberSeed Start-Up Competition to join successful Briefings and Arsenal initiatives
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (October 23, 2023): Black Hat Middle East and Africa (MEA), the cyber industry’s fastest-growing exhibition and conference, is set to reveal an expanded second edition when the doors to the three-day event open at Riyadh Front Exhibition & Convention Center on November 14-16.
As the most attended cyber security event in the world, Black Hat MEA 2023 has more than 300 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors are expected to attend from November 14-16, with attendees set to find a cybersecurity show with double in size than its award-winning inaugural edition, which saw Tahaluf – the Saudi Arabian organising arm of Informa Markets – take home ‘Organiser Team of the Year’ at the annual Association of Exhibition Organisers Awards in London.
Black Hat MEA 2023 is organised in association with the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones (SAFCSP) and has already seen a 138 per cent uplift in early-day registration. This year’s show, running under the theme ‘Infosec on the Edge,’ has attracted exhibitor confirmations from some of the biggest names in the global industry, including Cisco, Huawei, Zscaler, Ali Baba Cloud, Palo Alto, Recorded Future, Kaspersky, as well as regional heavyweights Spire Solutions, SALAM, Resilience, and Barracuda Partnerships, among many others, also confirming their attendance.
“The rapid pace of innovation among attackers demands innovation and application of new approaches to cybersecurity like ZeroTrust and applied Artificial Intelligence,” said Sam Curry, Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer at Zscaler. “That starts with a cultural nexus like Black Hat MEA in Riyadh, where we bring together the global cyber community and open the doors to the next generation because, in cyber, diversity and inclusion aren’t just the right thing to do, they are a competitive advantage and the key to the future of the digital world.”
New features for 2023 include the Black Hat Campus and Deep Dive Stage, where experts will plumb the depths of prevailing cybersecurity threats; and an Investor Programme in which more than 80 investors will seek opportunities to get behind cybersecurity startups. These new initiatives will complement Black Hat MEA’s expansive features programme, which already includes Briefings, Arsenal, a Capture The Flag tournament, and a CyberSeed startup pitch.
Briefings will provide the information security community with the latest research in infosec risks, developments, and emerging trends, and will feature addresses from leading experts, including Dr. Majid Malaika, Chief Advisor to the Vice-Governor for Supervision & Technology at the Saudi Central Bank.
Black Hat MEA 2023’s powerful Executive Summit will feature more than 100 speakers from around the world, including Keith Enright, Vice-President and Chief Privacy Officer, Google; Latha Maripuri, Chief Information Security Officer, Uber; and Vitaly Gudanets, Chief Information Security Officer, Netflix. An impressive training features programme has also been developed to enable attendees to improve their technical and soft skills by attending hackathons, getting certified, and taking home actionable tactics from the world’s leading experts in cybersecurity.
“Faced with an unprecedented rise in the sophistication and prevalence of cyberattacks, all public and private sector operators are now realising the need to come together to implement the right technologies and preventative processes to achieve positive results,” said Annabelle Mander, SVP of Tahaluf. “Black Hat MEA will be a key conduit in developing cyber defences for the region through the sharing of ideas and successes among peers and learning from world-renowned experts.
“The event is also set to build on the success of last year in attracting global and regional businesses to the Kingdom, all with the hope of securing deals, finding partners, and supporting the rapid growth of Saudi Arabia’s cybersecurity sector.”
The Black Hat MEA Arsenal is where developers will showcase the latest open-source tools and products with fellow attendees. Presenters will interact with the audience during hands-on demonstrations held in partnership with ToolsWatch.
A jeopardy-style Capture The Flag tournament – the region’s largest ethical hacking competition – will take place in the event’s bustling Activities Zone. More than 1,000 participants in approximately 250 teams will vie for a share of the USD 187,000 prize purse across different levels of competency: Amateur, intermediate, and expert. Participants will be challenged across a range of categories during the competition, including forensics, reverse engineering, and crypto.
Meanwhile, the CyberSeed startup pitch competition is evolving for its second edition, promising more awards and prizes. Twenty specially selected startups will compete in front of major cybersecurity investors and industry experts for a place in the semi-finals of categories such as Innovative Ideator, Shining Seedling, Established Excellence, and Saudi Superstar. Each semi-finalist will be assigned a cybersecurity expert mentor and, in the spirit of embracing equal opportunities in cybersecurity, an additional award will be given to the highest scoring female-led start-up.
P.S. - Mark your calendars for the return of Black Hat MEA in November 2024. Want to be a part of the action? Register now!