The 7 Podcasts of Highly Effective Cybersecurity People

Posted by George Finney on May 22, 2019 10:29:33 AM

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

By George Finney, Fuel User Group Board Member

Fuel-7 Podcasts of Highly Effective Cybersecurity PeopleWhen I started in cybersecurity, secrecy was the norm. It was unusual for people to share information about their programs or even about the attacks they had experienced. The phrase, loose lips sink ships, was a common saying. 

Today, the culture of security has changed. We’ve realized that sharing information is much more powerful to protect our communities than secrecy. As John F. Kennedy said in 1963, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” And the tide of cybersecurity rises every time we share information or listen to a story that another person shares.

Since sharing information is such a critical component of a security program, it’s important to cultivate sources of information that you can use to keep up with the latest information. This is helpful for individuals who are new to cybersecurity, to help understand the big picture of all the facets of cybersecurity. But it’s also important for experienced practitioners to keep their knowledge up to date and to stay aware of current threats. 

What follows are seven podcasts I've found to be useful (and entertaining) in staying on top of the latest in cybersecurity. 

1. Internet Storm Center (ISC)
Average Episode Length: 5 minutes
Release Schedule: Weekdays, Daily

Produced by the SANS Institute, the ISC is a daily five-minute update for technical professionals. The name of this podcast implies that it’s like a weather report, but it’s a lot more than that. The podcast provides great reviews of current events, but also provides in-depth technical analysis of trends, attacks and vulnerabilities. The pace is very quick, but the host is very good about citing references so that you can look them up and explore further if they impact you directly.

2. Darknet Diaries
Average Episode Length: 30-60 minutes
Release Schedule: 2-3 times a month

Hosted by Jack Ryysider, this podcast comes out about every two weeks and episodes can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Darknet Diaries is probably my favorite cybersecurity podcast. Each episode does a deep dive into a specific incident or person and tells the story in an investigative journalistic style that will appeal to fans of NPR’s Radiolab or other podcasts like Serial. You don’t need a technical background to understand the story, so it’s great for people new to the industry or to listen to with your significant other who doesn’t understand what you do. 

3. Risky Business
Average Episode Length: 50-60 minutes
Release Schedule: Weekly, Wednesdays

Each week, journalist Patrick Grey puts together a review of the news and interviews different industry practitioners. There are extensive discussions and you get background on stories in the news where you might have only heard superficial details.

4. CISO Vendor Relationship Podcast
Average Episode Length: 30-45 minutes
Release Schedule: 1-2 times weekly

Each week, hosts journalist/comedian David Spark and CISO of Lyft Mike Johnson bring guest CISOs to their podcast to discuss current events and how vendors are selling or impacting cybersecurity. Billed as “couples therapy for security practitioners and vendors,” this podcast has a fun, game show-like feel. Bonus shout out for their Defense In Depth podcast where they pick one topic for each 30-minute episode, where the Vendor Relationship podcasts break topics up into five-minute segments.

5. Don’t Panic
Average Episode Length: 10-20 minutes
Release Schedule: Every few months

Fuel members should be aware of this podcast hosted by Palo Alto Networks. CISO Rick Howard & Ryan Olsen, vice president for threat intelligence, host a 20-minute discussion of how cybersecurity intersects with geek life. Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 was named as a reference to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?” and the title of the podcast runs with that Hitchhiker’s Guide theme. I’m anxiously waiting for the next season to come out!

6. Down the Security Rabbit Hole
Average Episode Length: 30-40 minutes
Release Schedule: Weekly

Hosts Rafal Los and James Jardine have been publishing this podcast weekly for the last eight years, with each episode being a long discussion with well-known rock stars in the cybersecurity industry. Episodes are longer, usually more than 30 minutes, but listeners are rewarded with extensive dialogue between the hosts and the guests. This podcast is great for new practitioners or for security leaders to broaden their knowledge of the industry.

7. Smashing Security
Average Episode Length: 30-60 minutes
Release Schedule: Weekly

This is one of the funniest cybersecurity podcasts on the list. Hosts Graham Cluley and Carole Theriault host and provide weekly discussions with guests on a range of topics for about 50 minutes. This podcast gets into the weirder side of the security world.

There are a lot of other notable cybersecurity podcasts that you can also check out if you have time. I’ve enjoyed Kip Boyle’s Cyber Risk Podcast, Hacking Humans by Cyberwire, The Cyberlaw Podcast and Cyber by Motherboard

Other great vendor hosted podcast include Malicious Life by CyberReason, or McAfee’s Hackable? Podcast. And if you’re too busy or are new to podcasts and just don’t know where to start, you can check out Scott Schober 2 Minute Cybersecurity Briefing

Bonus – If you don’t have time or the patience to listen to podcasts, subscribe to POLITICO’s Morning Cybersecurity report. They’ll email you a briefing on the most important cybersecurity news for each day so you’ll be prepared when your boss asks you if your company is impacted by a vulnerability or hack. 


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