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Charl van der Walt

As co-founder of SensePost and head of Security Strategy for SensePost SecureData, Charl van der Walt has a deep understanding of what the future holds for information security, as well as a passion for teaching. He has hosted courses for universities and corporations worldwide and has frequently been a speaker at prestigious events like the Black Hat Briefings. As well as having been a network security consultant for the Commonwealth Games and the co-author of numerous books on cybersecurity, Charl has also acted as a security training advisor to the US Department of Defense for over five years.


Presentation: “Rascals, Rogues or Gentlemen’? On the curious role of Penetration Testing in Information Security 

The boxer Mike Tyson once famously said: "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. Its a great quote because it can be applied to so many aspects of life. As Information Security emerged from the murkiness of military and intelligence agencies into the mainstream of corporate IT it was an idea that took hold and quickly became very popular: “If you want to know how your systems stand up to an assault by actual bad guys, then get into the ring with some actual bad guys and see what happens when you get punched in the face”. And so emerged a bizarre industry that not only gets paid to repeatedly ‘punch its own clients in the face’, but also gets incentivised to practice doing that better and better all the time… and to share its skills with others. Thus Penetration Testing is not only firmly positioned on most corporate IT budgets, but its literally setting the agenda for information security in many ways for the whole information security agenda. This presentation takes a look at the Penetration Testing industry, seeks to understand why it exists, what it could do for your business, and whether its good for the industry on the whole…”