Rich here.

I’m going to pull an Adrian this week, and cover a few unrelated things. Nope, no secret tie-in at the end, just some interesting things that have hit over the past couple weeks, since I wrote a Summary.

We are absolutely blowing out the registration for this year’s cloud security training at Black Hat. I believe we will be the best selling class at Black Hat for the second year in a row. And better yet, all my prep work is done already, which has never happened before.

Bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to training, so we are pulling out all the stops. We have a custom room configuration and extra-special networking so we can split the class apart as needed to cover different student experience levels. James Arlen and I also built a mix of labs (we are even introducing Azure for the first time) to cover not only different skill levels, but different foci (network security, developers, etc.). For the larger class we also have two extra instructors who are only there to wander the room and help people out (Mike and Adrian).

Switching my brain around from coding and building labs, to regular Securosis work, can be tough. Writing prose takes a different mindset than writing code and technical work, and switching is a bit more difficult than I like. It’s actually easier for me to swap from prose to code than the other way around.

This is my first week back in Phoenix after our annual multi-week family excursion back to Boulder. This trip, more than many others, reminded me a bit of my roots and who I am.

Two major events occurred. First was the OPM hack, and the fact that my data was lost. The disaster response team I’m still a part of is based out of Colorado and part of the federal government. I don’t have a security clearance, but I still had to fill out one of the security forms that are now backed up, maybe in China. Yes, just to be an EMT and drive a truck.

I spoke for an hour at our team meeting and did my best to bring our world of cybersecurity to a group of medical professionals who suddenly find themselves caught up in the Big Game. To provide some understanding of what’s going on, why not to trust everything they hear, and how to understand the impact this will have on them for the rest of their lives. Because it sure won’t be over in 18 months after the credit monitoring term end (which they won’t even need if it was a foreign adversary).

This situation isn’t fair. These are volunteers willing to put themselves at physical risk, but they never signed up for the intangible but very real risks created by the OPM.

A few days before that meeting an air medical helicopter crashed. The pilot was killed, and a crew member badly injured. I didn’t know them well (barely at all), but had worked with both of them. I may have flown with the pilot.

I debated mentioning this at all, since it really had nothing to do with me. I’m barely a part of that community any more, although I did spend over 15 years in it. Public safety, like any profession, can be a small world. Especially as we all bounced around different agencies and teams in the mountains of Colorado. I suppose it hits home more when it’s someone in your tribe, even if you don’t have a direct personal relationship.

I’m barely involved in emergency services any more, but it is still a very important part of my life and identity. Someday, maybe, life will free up enough that I can be more active again. I love what I do now, but, like the military, you can’t replace the kinds of bonds built when physical risk is involved.

For a short final note, I just started reading a Star Wars book for the first time in probably over 20 years. I’m incredibly excited for the new film, and all the new books and comics are now officially canon and part of the epic.

The writing isn’t bad, but it really isn’t anything you want to read unless you are a huge Star Wars nerd. But I am, so I do.

There you go. Black Hat, rescue, and Star Wars. No linkage except me.

On to the Summary:

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