Greetings from Las Vegas! BlackHat 2023 has wrapped up, offering two exhilarating days. Although I only attended the Business Hall exhibit, missing some sessions, I'm gearing up for Defcon this weekend. Drawing parallels between The Who's "My Generation" and generative AI might seem odd, but attending BlackHat, the song reverberated in my mind. Envisioning Roger Daultery's rendition of “Gen, Gen, Generative AI” underscores the prominent theme of this year's conference.

#1 AI's Dominance: Kyle Alspach from CRN unveiled new BlackHat 2023 insights through two articles highlighting the top 10 startups and the 20 best tools. Notably, 60% of these incorporate AI. The overwhelming presence of AI, fueled by ChatGPT's rise and generative AI's surge, was palpable. While earlier events had AI as a mere buzzword, this year, many demonstrated their AI capabilities, elucidating the tools' functionalities and their prospects to offer AI-driven services.

#2 Pioneering Security Dimensions: At BlackHat 2023, the evolving scope of security stood out. We've transitioned from cloud security to enterprise security. The emphasis is shifting towards IoT, critical infrastructure, supply chain management, and multi-tier vendor risks. The holistic approach to security became evident, especially in the Startup City exhibits.

#3 Real-World Solutions Over Hype: BlackHat 2023 emphasized tangible results over mere tech ostentation. Recalling product discussions from the past, exaggerations were common. Yet, this year, vendors primarily showcased how their products solve real-world challenges, indicating a shift towards more realistic expectations.

#4 Adapt and Overcome: Many vendors at BlackHat 2023 stressed efficiency. Conversations revolved around staffing adjustments, budgetary refinements, and competitive pricing. With venture capital investments in cybersecurity tapering off, funds now seem directed toward AI and related sectors, signaling a more pragmatic strategy for market positioning.

#5 Cloud Security: BlackHat 2023 spotlighted the evolution of cloud-centric tools. While enterprise security stacks remain intricate, the move towards specialized cloud tools accelerates. This trend implies that businesses must soon assess their tool allocations, balancing between traditional enterprise, third-party marketplaces, and expanding cloud environments.

#6 AI-led Incident Responses: AI is revolutionizing notifications and alerts in incident response and threat hunting. BlackHat 2023 suggested that while human intervention remains vital, AI might soon dominate this space. Visualizing connections in incident responses can pave the way for enhanced security protocols, fostering a better-informed generation of security professionals and enabling more visual security narratives.

#7 Embracing Identity and Zero Trust: Rounding off my BlackHat 2023 “Lucky Seven” emphasizes identity management and zero-trust architectures. Malcolm Harkins, known on Twitter as @protecttoenable, encapsulates the essence of next-gen identity tools supporting zero trust. Notable mentions include innovations from Beyond Identity. The mounting demands from third parties, cloud services, and IoT necessitate robust identity trust measures, promising to be a focal challenge for security teams in 2024 and beyond.