The Stack’s resident security expert Richard Morrell recently visited squeaky clean Kensington to get his hands dirty with cybersecurity’s frontline troops at 44CON

For those who don’t know what 44CON is, the show has grown become one of the cornerstones of the UK security and technology industry. It is truly about the security troops in the trenches.

The visiting professionals are those solving problems of all types and sizes, in both traditional networks and increasingly, in the cloud. The get-together is a microcosm of the industry at large – just as it has evolved, so have the conversations in the hallways and meeting rooms and restaurants in Kensington.

I found visitors from every corner of the world, each with different and changing approaches to protecting their assets and data, each intent on finding like minds and forging new alliances with the best in the business.

Holding court at the show was a roll call of the brightest and most sought-after of ethical hacking cognoscenti, with names like Kevin Sheldrake, Nikhil Mittal, Graham Sutherland, and my old partner in crime Marc Newlin.

At a show on cybersecurity it was inevitable that the disastrous events at Equifax, resulting in the leak of 143 million social security numbers, a botched attempt at damage control and the beginning of a major government investigation, would come up. Thanks to the leak, discussion was even more animated than normal, with the mood in the conference mirroring that of the larger security community.

The average attendee at 44CON is a forward-thinking, highly capable security professional, visiting to further their own education and knowledge, and thereby adding to the melting pot of talents and skills at the show. Hungry, talented security pros are like unicorns and London, it seems today, has its own stable of them.