Modern field guide to security and privacy

Passcode Events

Be part of the security and privacy conversation.

Passcode is gathering key stakeholders in security and privacy to discuss pressing issues in person.

Past events

March 10-16, 2017: South by Southwest Interactive // Austin, Tx.

Passcode hosted four panels at the 2017 SXSW Interactive Festival this spring in Austin, Texas.

Connected Cities, Hackable Streets // Mar. 14, 2017

In cities around the world, street lights, public transit systems, and electric meters are already connected to the internet. Soon, smartphone controlled, self-driving cars will roam cities and every part of the urban fabric could be Wi-Fi enabled. While tomorrow’s smart cities will usher in efficiencies and convenience, they’ll also bring about security threats and vulnerabilities. Hackers have already demonstrated they can remotely take over cars and switch off traffic lights. So, how can urban planners and engineers build cities of the future that are resilient enough to guard against cunning criminal hackers who may want to bring Singapore or San Francisco to a grinding halt?

Featured speakers include: Nadya Bliss, Global Security Initiative Arizona State University; Cesar Cerrudo, IOActive; Keith Marzullo, National Science Foundation; Tom Cross, Drawbridge Networks.

Narratives for the Digital Age // Mar. 14, 2017

From “WarGames” to “Mr. Robot,” Hollywood is fascinated with technology’s impact on society. In fact, the 1983 film “WarGames” had such an impression on President Reagan that it influenced national policy on cyberweapons. Since then, technology has provided endless sources of inspiration for writers, directors, and producers. Join legendary producer Walter Parkes, who cowrote “WarGames” and produced such hits as “Minority Report” and “Men in Black,” and Alex Winter, actor and director of “Deep Web,” for a discussion on how film is influencing policy when it comes to digital surveillance, privacy, and cybersecurity.

Featured speakers include: Walter Parkes, Parkes Macdonald Productions; Alex Winter, Trouper Productions Inc; Julie Bush, screenwriter.

Ending the Ad Blocker Wars // Mar. 11, 2017

The rise of ad blocking has sparked a fierce battle that’s pitting privacy groups against publishers. Ad-blocking advocates hail the technology as helping rid the web of annoying and slow-loading ads, pervasive tracking, and malware. But publishers say the technology is taking money out of their pockets and crippling their ability to produce journalism. Now, media outlets are appealing to readers to disable their blockers. Critics even suggest the software is unethical. Yet, ad blockers are proliferating. But is there a middle ground? Can publishers improve the ad experience to persuade readers to turn off blockers? Or will ad blockers bring about the end of the free web?

Featured speakers include: Brendan Eich, Brave Software; Jason Kint, Digital Content Next; and Meredith Kopit Levien, The New York Times.

Are Biometrics the New Face of Surveillance? // Mar. 10, 2017

Advanced biometric technology is starting to track us everywhere we go. Airports are experimenting with using iris scans as boarding passes. Credit card companies want your selfie or heartbeat to authorize digital payments. And the FBI wants to create the world’s largest and most efficient electronic repository of biometric information to help track criminals, replete with iris scans and palm prints. What are the privacy implications of technology that, quite literally, never forgets a face? Will increasingly sophisticated biometric tracking make society safer and daily life more convenient – or will it usher in a new era of surveillance?

Featured speakers include: James Baker, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Brian Brackeen, Kairos; Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing.

February 13-17, 2017: RSA Conference // San Francisco, Calif.

Passcode hosted two events at the 2017 RSA Conference this winter in San Francisco, California.

February 14: Beat the Breach // San Francisco, Calif.

Join Passcode, Invincea, and top security leaders for the third annual Beat the Breach Town Hall event during the RSA Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, Feb. 14, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. We'll bring together senior security executives, government leaders, and a VIP audience to talk about cybersecurity, war stories and lessons learned, and what to expect from the future.

Featured speakers include: Forcepoint CTO Dr. Richard Ford, Deputy Assistant Attorney General (DAAG) for National Asset Protection Adam S. Hickey.

February 13: Bug Bounty Lightning Talks with Uber, AT&T and HackerOne // San Francisco, Calif.

Meet the woman behind Hack the Pentagon. Hang out with one of the country’s best bug bounty hunters. Get to know the security pros from Uber, AT&T, LinkedIn, and Zenefits.
Please join Passcode for an intimate gathering designed to give attendees a behind-the-scenes look at the fast-growing bug bounty marketplace. You’ll hear from the entrepreneurs, hackers, and executives who are turning bug bounties into an industry standard. And you’ll come away with an insiders’ knowledge of how bug bounties are transforming cybersecurity.

Featured speakers include: CISO of LinkedIn Cory Scott, Luta Security CEO Katie Moussouris, security researcher Luke Young, AT&T senior business security manager David Linsky, Department of Defense/ Defense Digital Service’s Lisa Wiswell, Mack Staples of Zenefits and senior manager at Red Team.

January 31: Defeating Ransomware // Tampa, Fla.

Ransomware is already a billion dollar enterprise for cybercriminals. In 2017 experts project that the issue will spread. What steps are organizations taking to defend against this emerging threat? Join Passcode and the Florida Center for Cybersecurity in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Jan. 31 for a discussion that will explore the impact of ransomware and the cybersecurity defenses that every business needs to know about.

Featured speakers include: Ret. US Navy vice admiral and former director of national intelligence Mike McConnell, CISO of Florida Blue Jason Raymond, supervisory special agent for Tampa FBI Cyber Squad Paul Vitchock, vice president of technology for IT security at Nielsen Virginia Lee.

January 12, 2016: Cybersecurity Institute for Journalists // Washington, D.C.

Passcode joined forces with University of Maryland University College (UMUC) to host a one-day seminar on cybersecurity for reporters that included a crash course in hacker lingo, defending and cracking computer systems, critical infrastructure, cyberwarfare, and an on record conversation with House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul. All participants were formally recognized for their expertise through a certificate of completion from UMUC.

Featured speakers included: House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul.

December 14, 2016: Global Cybersecurity in 2017: What’s next? // Washington, D.C.

2016 was a year of unprecedented cyberattacks. It also laid bare the need for the international community to join forces in confronting these growing global threats. On Wednesday, Dec. 14, Passcode hosted Dr. David Brumley of Carnegie Mellon University and Tenable Network Security strategist Cris Thomas (aka Space Rogue), who explored the best ideas for how nations can effectively work together to improve cybersecurity, and discussed emerging threats that demand the world’s attention.

Featured speakers included: Dr. David Brumley of Carnegie Mellon University; Tenable Network Security strategist Cris Thomas; John Nicholson of the British Embassy; Robert G. Sheldon of BENS.

October 27, 2016: Security of Things Forum // Washington, D.C.

Passcode and The Security Ledger hosted the Security of Things Forum-DC, a daylong exploration into one of the most pressing cybersecurity issues today – widespread flaws in millions of internet-connected devices. The Internet of Things is so fraught with weaknesses that attackers corralled millions of insecure devices into a botnet that crippled the internet last year. At the Security of Things Forum, we explored these threats as well as the best ideas and newest solutions for securing IoT inside our critical infrastructures.

Featured speakers included: Ralph Langner, Mike Spanbauer of NSS Labs, Charley Snyder from the Pentagon.

October 21, 2016: The Passcode Cup // Washington, D.C.

Passcode gathered players from Carnegie Mellon, The University of Virginia, American University, The University of Maryland University College, and around the country to participated in a virtual capture-the-flag challenge to invade opponents’ computer networks and defend digital territories. Phyllis Schneck, the top cybersecurity professional at the Department of Homeland Security also joined us to talk about digital threats to critical infrastructure.

Featured speakers included: Phyllis Schneck, Department of Homeland Security.

September 22, 2016: Security of Things Forum // Boston

Passcode and The Security Ledger hosted daylong event that combines sessions on digital security for executives and technical discussions for hackers on the future of the Internet of Things.

Featured speakers included: Independent hacker Travis Goodspeed, Robert Silvers, DHS assistant secretary for cyber policy.

July 20, 2016: Kids and the Connected Home // Washington, D.C.

Security concerns around outsiders accessing children’s information or accessing a parent’s home are already in the news. Passcode, the Family Online Safety Institute, the Future of Privacy Forum and experts discussed the nature of dolls and toys that become a child’s best friend – that can discuss intimate information, provide advice, and be a buddy – are raising questions about the right balance. When artificial intelligence enters the mix, the debate will only be intensified.

Featured speakers included: Elemental Path CEO Donald Coolidge, Atlantic Council Cyber Statecraft Initiative’s Joshua Corman, Hogan Lovells partner Julie Brill.

May 12, 2016: Guarding the Grid // Washington, D.C.

Protecting the power grid from today’s cyber threats has become one of the nation’s top national security priorities. Nowhere was this more evident than in the aftermath of the cyberattack in Ukraine that left more than 200,000 customers in the dark. The hack – the first known cyberattack to successfully knock a power grid offline – caused many in the US to wonder: How vulnerable is the North American power grid to such an attack?

On May 12, Passcode explored that question, looking closely at how hackers pulled off the Ukraine hack, whether we are prepared for similar attacks, and how industry and government are partnering to safeguard the US power supply.

Featured speakers included: Deputy Energy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood, Dragos Security’s Robert M. Lee, CEO of Southern Company Tom Fanning. Sponsored by Edison Electric Institute.

April 28, 2016: Cybersecurity Futures 2020 // Washington, D.C.

What does the future hold for the Web? Passcode, UC Berkeley, and some of the country’s leading policymakers, hackers, and creative thinkers discussed the alternate futures for cybersecurity and the Internet in 2020 and beyond.

Featured speakers included: Steve Weber, University of California - Berkeley, Ed Felten, White House, Jeff Moss, Black Hat and DEF CON, Phyllis Schneck, Department of Homeland Security, Walter Parkes, Screenwriter and Director, Nate Fick, Endgame.

April 12, 2016: Workforce 2.0, cultivating cybersecurity professionals // Baltimore, Md.

The conversation focused on how to rewire the workforce to confront tomorrow’s cybersecurity challenges. At the event, Passcode launched its new Security Culture section that will unpack and illustrate the far-reaching and increasingly important role that digital security plays in daily life.

Featured speakers included: Tony Scott, US chief information officer, Rodney Petersen, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Diane Miller, Northrop Grumman, Simone Petrella, CyberVista. Sponsored by Northrop Grumman.

March 11-15, 2016: South by Southwest Interactive // Austin, Tx.

Passcode hosted two panels at the 2016 SXSW Interactive Festival this spring in Austin, Texas.

Cryptowars 2.0: Silicon Valley vs. Washington

To fight hackers and eavesdropping governments, companies such as Apple and Google moved to deploy especially strong security protections. But US officials say this default encryption in consumer devices prevents them from catching terrorists and criminals – and want companies to weaken their encryption to give them easier access. Should they?

Featured speakers included: Amit Yoran, RSA, Matt Blaze, University of Pennsylvania, and Stewart Baker, Steptoe & Johnson.

Smartwatch or Spyware? Considering Privacy and IoT

The spread of Internet-enabled gadgets means that more data is collected about our daily lives than ever before. Smartwatches track locations and health conditions while in-home devices learn our daily habits. Combined with big data, this information reveals an intimate portrait. And with the number of connected things expected to hit 25 billion by 2020, tech companies are poised to have incredible insight into consumer behavior. Yet all of this innovation raises privacy concerns. Policymakers are already urging companies to safeguard this data, which is already being used in lawsuits. And if consumers feel their privacy is threatened, they may turn their backs on the Internet of Things.

Featured speakers included: Julie Brill, Federal Trade Commission; Michelle Dennedy, Cisco; and Ruby Zefo, Intel.

March 1, 2016: Beat The Breach at RSA // San Francisco, Calif.

Invincea and CSM Passcode hosted the second annual #BeatTheBreach, an exclusive VIP Town Hall event uniting public and private sector leaders in cybersecurity at the RSA Conference. The most influential figures in cybersecurity and national security tackled issues – like encryption and threat sharing, and President Obama’s national action plan for cybersecurity – that will affect security for the next decade.

Featured speakers included: Tony Scott, US chief information officer; John Carlin, Justice Department; Richard Clarke, Good Harbor Security Risk Management; Patrick Joyce, Medtronic; Stephen Ward, TIAA-CREF; Suzanne Spaulding, Dept, of Homeland Security; and Amit Yoran, RSA.

Feb. 26, 2016: Beyond Safe Harbor: Bridging the Transatlantic Privacy Divide // Washington, D.C.

Though the US and European Union have a new deal to replace Safe Harbor and protect the flow of personal data across the Atlantic, the new plan, dubbed Privacy Shield, may not be a sure thing. Passcode will dive deep into the promise of Privacy Shield in a one-on-one conversation with EU Ambassador David O’Sullivan. After, a panel discussed the ramifications of Privacy Shield for both Europe and the US.

Featured speakers included: EU Ambassador David O’Sullivan; Amie Stepanovich, Access Now; Bruce Heiman, law firm K&L Gates; and Josh Kallmer, Information Technology Industry Council.

Feb. 4, 2016: Cybersecurity from China’s Perspective // Boston, Mass.

In an attempt to curb an increasing number of cyberattacks, Washington and Beijing met in September to discuss potential solutions for peace. An agreement was reached, but will Beijing really be able to hold up its end of the deal? Can China rein in its hackers? Will China and the West forge rules of engagement in the Digital Age?

Featured speakers included: Adam Segal, Council on Foreign Relations; Michael Sulmeyer, Harvard’s Belfer Center; Lobsang Gyatso Sither, Tibet Action Institute; Sharon Hom, Human Rights in China.

Jan. 28, 2016: Data Privacy Day // Washington, D.C.

Featured speakers included: Caroline Vicini, Delegation of the European Union to the United States; Giovanni Buttarelli, European Data Protection Supervisor; David Hoffman, Intel; Eric Wenger, Cisco; Chris Babel, TRUSTe.

Oct. 27, 2015: Talent Hack: Solutions for the cybersecurity skills gap // Washington, D.C.

Whether in private industry or in government, America is in deep need of cybersecurity talent with the smarts to confront cybercrime and help secure critical systems. More and more, it’s not just programmers or developers at the frontlines of defense. Organizations need nontechnical managers and professionals who can oversee critical data and develop security best practices. Corporations are hunting for chief information security officers at the top while they struggle to train entry-level employees in of cyber hygiene basics. Passcode and the National Cyber Security Alliance held a conversation on three pillars of the cyber talent discussion – workforce, education, and diversity – to surface the most promising paths forward for building a new generation of cyber leaders.

Featured speakers included: Ben Scribner, Department of Homeland Security; Darren Burton, Raytheon; Cecily Joseph, Symantec; Rodney Petersen, National Institute of Standards and Technology; Nadya Bliss, Arizona State University. Sponsored by CompTIA.

Oct. 22, 2015: Women in IT and Cyber Security // Herndon, Va.

Passcode deputy editor Sara Sorcher hosted a panel and networking reception on women in IT and cyber security at the MACH37 accelerator.

Featured speakers included: Jennifer Bisceglie, Interos Solutions; Deidre Diamond, CyberSN; Juliane Gallina, IBM; Lauren Van Wazner, Akamai Technologies, Inc.

Oct. 21, 2015: Securing the Internet of Things: How can policymakers help? // Washington, D.C.

With some 200 billion connected devices expected to be in homes, offices, and cars by the end of 2020, policymakers, lawmakers, and privacy watchdogs are increasingly alarmed about the security and privacy implications of the Internet of Things. Many are pressing for laws to protect consumers. At the same time, many tech firms are pushing back and warning regulation will stifle innovation. Is there a middle ground where regulation can aid users without blunting the growth of IoT?

Featured speakers included: Julie Brill, Federal Trade Commission; Sen. Brian Schatz (D) of Hawaii, Senate; Tom Cross, Drawbridge Networks; Eric Wenger, Cisco; Peter Lefkowitz, General Electric. Sponsored by Toyota.

Oct. 8, 2015: The Cutting Edge of Cybersecurity Research // Washington, D.C.

Arati Prabhakar, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency director, outlined some of the biggest cybersecurity challenges facing the nation – and the technologies DARPA is developing to address them – as both the public and private sectors face increasingly complex threats. Senior officials discussed strategies to move cutting-edge research out of the lab and into the real world to make an impact in the rest of the US government and private sector. Companies and agencies also demoed live their most engaging cybersecurity research.

Featured speakers included: Arati Prabhakar, DARPA; Nate Lesser, NIST; Bill Vanderlinde, IARPA; Doug Maughan, DHS. Sponsored by Northrop Grumman.

Oct. 1, 2015: The Future of America’s Cyber Strategy // Washington, D.C.

It’s a turning point for America’s cybersecurity policy. Washington is debating how to respond as countries such as China are suspected of targeting its government networks and interests online, and militants in groups such as the Islamic State ramp up their digital presence. Panelists discussed how the State Department is navigating the new diplomatic frontier of the Digital Age and senior Pentagon leaders shared thoughts about whether there’s a role for offense in its strategy, which has long focused on bolstering digital defenses.

Featured speakers included: Aaron Hughes, Department of Defense; Chris Painter, Department of State; Eric Novotny, Department of State; and Martin Libicki, RAND Corp. Sponsored by Lockheed Martin.

Sept. 18, 2015: Cybersecurity Summit // New York City

Passcode moderated a panel on how cybersecurity is viewed in corporate boardrooms at this exclusive C-Suite conference series that connects senior level executives responsible for protecting their companies’ critical infrastructures with innovative solution providers and renowned information security experts. This forum focused on educating attendees on how to best protect highly vulnerable business applications and critical infrastructure.

Featured speakers included: Joseph Fiorella, Intel Security; Tom Kellermann, Trend Micro; Bernard Parsons, Becrypt; and Robert J. Shaker II, Symantec. Sponsored by Palo Alto Networks.

Sept. 15, 2015: The Encryption Debate: Balancing Privacy and National Security // Washington, D.C.

Major American companies moved to ramp up security on their consumer devices to fight hackers and eavesdropping governments, but senior law enforcement and intelligence officials say the new default protections prevent them from catching dangerous terrorists and criminals. They are calling on companies such as Apple and Google to find a secure way for them to access consumers’ data with a warrant, which many technologists and privacy advocates claim is tantamount to building a “backdoor” into otherwise strong encryption. What’s the right balance between protecting people’s personal privacy and the country’s security? Passcode hosted a discussion with key figures in the debate between US law enforcement and the tech sector.

Featured speakers included: Amy Hess, FBI; Kiran Raj, Justice Department; Jon Callas, Silent Circle; and Matt Blaze, University of Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Dell.

Sept. 10, 2015: Security of Things Forum // Cambridge, Mass.

A high-impact day of learning, discussion and debate focused on the pre-eminent challenge of our time: securing the Internet of Things. SECoT 2015 brings together hackers, executives, security researchers and information security professionals from across industries with a stake in the future of the Internet of Things. Save 25 percent on tickets when you register with our promo code: PASSCODE VIP.

Featured speakers include: Chris Valasek, Uber; Julie Brill, Federal Trade Commission; Michael Daly, Raytheon.  Sponsored by Bastille Networks.

May 5, 2015: ID360: The Identity Economy // Austin, TX

Passcode partnered with the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Identity for a conference on the Identity Economy, discussing innovative solutions for meeting current and future challenges in identity fraud, theft, misuse, management, and protection.

Featured speakers included: Frank Abagnale, Frank Abagnale & Associates; Adam Tyler, CSID; Eduard Goodman, IDT911; and Kim Little Sutherland, LexisNexis.

April 24, 2015: Beat the Breach // San Francisco

Passcode partnered with security company Invincea to host this Washington-meets-Silicon Valley invitation-only event at the RSA Conference in San Francisco on cyberthreat information sharing.

Featured speakers include: Michael Daniel, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator, Phyllis Schneck, Department of Homeland Security; John Carlin, Department of Justice; Amit Yoran, RSA; Amit Mittal, Symantec; and Jim Routh, Aetna. In partnership with Invincea.

March 15, 2015: Passcode @ SXSW // Austin, TX

Passcode hosted a panel on data discrimination at South by Southwest’s Interactive festival and three events on the sidelines.

Featured speakers included: Nicole Wong, former deputy US chief technology officer; Sascha Meinrath, X-Lab; Mallory Duncan, National Retail Federation; Dan Kaufman, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; Nuala O’Connor, Center for Democracy and Technology; and Daniel Weitzner, MIT Cybersecurity Policy Initiative. Sponsors included Rapid7 and AlertLogic.

Feb. 26, 2015: The Future of Cybersecurity Innovation // Washington, D.C.

Chief of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Information Innovation Office, Dan Kaufman, joined an elite panel with officials from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the MITRE Corp. to discuss trends in cybersecurity innovation. This Passcode event also featured a live demonstration of Plan X, a system DARPA is designing to give the military instantaneous knowledge of network attacks.

Featured speakers included: Dan Kaufman andFrank Pound, DARPA; William Hill, MITRE Corp.; and Chuck Romine, National Institute of Standards and Technology. Sponsored by Invincea and Vectra.

Feb. 19, 2015: Cyber Framework & Critical Infrastructure // Washington, D.C.

The Department of Homeland Security’s chief cybersecurity official, Dr. Phyllis Schneck, joined Passcode and the Center for National Policy to discuss the progress of the nation’s first cybersecurity standards to protect critical infrastructure – and the challenges ahead for information-sharing.

Featured speakers included: Phyllis Schneck, Department of Homeland Security; and John Pescatore, SANS Institute. Sponsored by IBM.  

Oct. 9, 2014: Developing America's Edge // Washington, D.C.

White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel spoke with Passcode about training the next generation of cybersecurity workers, new ways to protect your personal devices, and how his job coordinating government and industry can be like herding cats.

Featured speakers included: Michael Daniel, White House; Jeff Moss, DEF CON; Peter Singer, New America; and Frank Cilluffo, George Washington University. Sponsored by Northrop Grumman

Photos by Ann Hermes, The Christian Science Monitor

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Passcode Events
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today