What YOU loved about Black Hat MEA 2023

by Black Hat Middle East and Africa
What YOU loved about Black Hat MEA 2023

Welcome to the new 90 cyber warriors who joined us last week. Each week, we'll be sharing insights from the Black Hat MEA community. Read exclusive interviews with industry experts and key findings from the #BHMEA stages.

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This week we’re focused on…

What you loved most about Black Hat MEA 2023. 


Because we’re six months away from the 2024 edition, and people are asking us lots of questions. 


  • Is BHMEA for me?
  • Is it worth travelling all the way to Riyadh, though?
  • How can I persuade my boss that BHMEA will add value to their business?

And we have all kinds of answers for these questions. But the reality is that what we think isn’t that important. What really matters is what our speakers and visitors gained from their time at #BHMEA23 – because it’s their real experiences that show us how pivotal the event and the community really are in the field of cybersecurity. 

So we want to let you do the talking. 

You loved discovering new fields of study in cybersecurity

Heba Farahat (Senior Cybersecurity Consultant at Liquid C2) said: 

“The best thing about Black Hat MEA 2023 was its introduction of new topics to the region, particularly medical device hacking. Exploring the vulnerabilities inherent in medical devices was truly eye-opening. For instance, malicious attackers could manipulate device readings, potentially leading doctors to prescribe incorrect medication or even halting the device's operation.” 

Learning from diverse speakers

When we asked Isabelle Meyer (Co-Founder and Co-CEO at ZENDATA Cybersecurity) about her best experience at BHMEA23, she said:

“The community! It makes us grow, gather, and create. Being surrounded by the best minds in the world gives you so much energy and so many new ideas. Black Hat is different, it’s technical, the subjects are great and inspiring. We need this.” 

And Irene Corpuz (Founding Partner and Board Member, WiCSME) echoed this:

“Events like Black Hat MEA are invaluable — they're not just about knowledge exchange but also about inspiration and community building. They offer a global perspective on cybersecurity challenges and innovations and provide a platform for professionals from diverse backgrounds to connect.” 

And for those cybersecurity professionals living in regions where the cybersecurity community is limited by geographical boundaries or language barriers, experiencing BHMEA in Riyadh opens doors. Rana Khalil (Application Security Team Lead at C3SA) said: 

“Participating in events like Black Hat MEA is incredibly valuable to me because they offer a unique opportunity to connect with professionals from all over the world. Living in Canada, it's not easy to meet and engage with the folks I've been following from the Middle East. Black Hat MEA provided me that chance to build real, in-person connections with people I've known virtually for years.” 

And the diversity of knowledge being shared

Dr. Srijith Nair (CISO at Careem) said, “You can hop between talks and demos that go deep into the hard skills, as well as those that provide a cautionary tale on how to manage topics like burn outs in this field; and how to, as a leader, build a successful resilient information security team.”

Yara AlHumaidan (Cybersecurity Principle Consultant) said “Everything was remarkable. I gained valuable insights into the latest cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, and defensive strategies through presentations, workshops, and networking opportunities. I also was lucky to discover new tools and techniques for ethical hacking and penetration testing, as well as connect with industry experts and peers to exchange knowledge and experiences.” 

You loved the hospitality of Saudi Arabia

“My best experience at Black Hat MEA 2023 was undoubtedly the warm hospitality and friendly atmosphere that permeated the event,” said Emre Kulali (Strategic Partnerships at AccuKnox). “The congeniality of everyone I interacted with truly stood out to me. Engaging in discussions with potential partners and cybersecurity professionals from the region was both informative and delightful.”

Owais Shaikh (Security Researcher at RedHunt Labs) added, “My favourite thing about Black Hat MEA was all the cool people I met. I met people from tons of backgrounds and loved interacting with them. I love learning languages (as in spoken, not programming ones) and attempting to speak to people in their languages (broken French, Spanish, Bengali, Arabic etc.) and seeing their reaction was hilarious.” 

Ultimately, cybersecurity thrives on real human connection

Stephen Bennett (Global CISO at Domino’s) said:

“Recently, after presenting at Black Hat MEA, I shared some thoughts on LinkedIn about the profound realisation I had there: the irreplaceable value of the human element. There’s something genuinely special about face-to-face interactions that we've missed dearly, especially during the COVID times. 

“Regardless of whether you're an extrovert or introvert, we're social creatures at heart, and these events are crucial for reconnecting and building relationships.

“Black Hat MEA, in particular, has been fantastic for this. It’s not just about hearing different viewpoints but also about forming your own, making connections, and realising that even though cybersecurity can feel isolating, you're definitely not alone. Our field is incredibly tight-knit, and there’s a whole community out there ready to offer support when you reach out.” 

We second that sentiment: You are not alone. Register now to attend Black Hat MEA 2024 and immerse yourself in this brilliant community. We can’t wait to see you in Riyadh. 

Do you have an idea for a topic you'd like us to cover? We're eager to hear it! Drop us a message and share your thoughts. Our next newsletter is scheduled for 29 May 2024.

Catch you next week,
Steve Durning
Exhibition Director

Join us at Black Hat MEA 2024 to grow your network, expand your knowledge, and build your business.

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