“Who Can You Trust” – A Hacks and Hops Session Recap

Ostra was a proud sponsor and co-presenter at this year’s Hacks & Hops Information Security Conference, held October 6, 2022 at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Hosted by FRSecure, one of Ostra’s Channel Partners, Hacks and Hops is a full-day conference that brings information security professionals together to learn, network and enjoy beer. 

Who Can You Trust?  

For the opening session of Hacks and Hops, Michael Kennedy (Founder, Ostra Cybersecurity) joined Evan Francen (Founder and CEO, FRSecure/SecurityStudio) for a candid discussion about mental health and coping strategies for those who work in the stressful field of cybersecurity. Access a replay of the on-demand session below.  



Session Summary 

Information security professionals are presented with no shortage of tasks, deadlines, emails, conference options, information feeds and advice on a daily basis. Whether they are building secure infrastructures, responding to incidents, combing through threat feeds, justifying budgets, training or educating employees, the job can feel overwhelming at times. So, who can they trust and where can they go for the solid support they desperately need?

As two cybersecurity leaders known for their honesty and frankness, Michael and Evan delivered a 40-minute presentation entitled “Who Can You Trust?” They shared some of their own struggles, as well as wisdom they have learned along the way, regarding:

·      Tips for dealing with job-related anxiety, impostor syndrome, etc. 
·      Vetting the information they consume (marketing fodder, headlines, threat feeds, etc.) 
·      Recommendations they make to their customers


Letting go is not letting it consume you… If something happened, how do we fix it? How do we move on? … You’ve got to be in this moment, today. Just deal with what’s in front of you.

– Michael Kennedy, reflecting on ways to stay mentally healthy while managing cyber threats


A Call for Transparency 

Many of Kennedy’s and Francen’s comments were rooted in themes of transparency and honesty. Kennedy shared that although it can sometimes feel intimidating to admit what you don’t know—especially in an industry rife with acronyms and cyber jargon—transparency is critical to getting the support you really need to help your clients.  

Transparency is a topic that Ostra leaders have been passionate about since the company’s inception. Chief Growth Officer Paul Dobbins recently published a 3-part blog series, Why Business Keep Losing the War on Cyber Terror. In the final blog in this series, “Awareness Isn’t Enough: A Transparency Revolution,” Dobbins outlines 4 key behaviors that Ostra believes every leader in the cybersecurity industry should model in order to create the kind of transparency that benefits everyone, including clients.  

Join the Revolution

If you are an information security professional, do you think being more transparent could help you get the support you need? Or, if you are a business owner, would you do business with companies who align with this transparency framework or something similar? If so,  let us know and be part of a transparency revolution.