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Hacktivity 2021 – Our experiences

hacktivity avatao

Seeing as we’re a company that develops a secure coding platform, it should come as no surprise that IT and cybersecurity-related events greatly interest us. Hacktivity is one such event, the largest IT security festival in Central and Eastern Europe. While last year it was unfortunately canceled due to the pandemic, this year it was all systems go, and as the date drew closer, we decided to get involved.

The venue this time was MOM Cultural Center, a great place to hold such an event. In the two main rooms (Security Theater and Security Dome), presentations were held from morning until early evening, and participants had the chance to attend workshops where they could learn about a variety of different topics. Some of these got down into the nitty-gritty of certain topics in cybersecurity, while others provided more of a high-level overview. The venue was well-chosen, and the organizers and staff created a great atmosphere for the one-day event. The presentations covered several topics in different areas of IT security. Some dug deep into the very details of a certain aspect of cybersecurity, while others approached cybersecurity from a higher level.

I also spent some time in the hacker lab at the ground level where I learned how to open any lock, or how Windows UAC can be bypassed. Ákos, IT security content developer

Participants who could not attend in person were able to watch the presentations online, and there was even a Zoom room for workshops in the afternoon. And despite Hacktivity centering around IT content, the Avatao team of participants stretched well beyond the typical “tech people.” We had a unit of eight people from a number of different teams, with each participant taking home a different type of experience.

We had the chance to listen to many wonderful and eye-opening presentations, such as “Penetration Testing Management”, “Security Awareness in Development” (my personal favorite, since Avatao is primarily a platform for teaching secure coding) a presentation about mount operation internals on macOS by Csaba Fitzl, and many other exciting talks. Ákos, IT security content developer

avatao at hacktivity

Source: Flickr.com

The event hosted many talented speakers from all areas of the IT industry, with topics ranging from high-level overviews of security to detailed, advanced methodologies. Everyone on our team found at least one presentation that covered their favorite topics.

Hacktivity was a great place to get a peek into interesting security topics. One presentation briefly mentioned car key security, a topic I was interested in long before coming to the event. Bence, senior full-stack engineer

Although the venue had “only” two rooms where presentations were held, we often wished we could be in two places at once. There were exciting options in both rooms, and it was a real struggle to choose which ones to attend. So we decided to divide and conquer: each of us participated in at least seven presentations based on our interests, allowing us to listen, learn, and improve our knowledge of the given topic.

During the event, I learned more about the importance of security and finally came to understand the difference between hackers and attackers, and that we need more hackers to find security bugs and their solutions. Kata, product owner

Hacktivity is a great opportunity to meet and chat with other people from the IT security sector. Participants may come from different companies and countries, but they’re all connected by their interest in cybersecurity. Whether you’re looking for a casual chat with like-minded individuals or a professional debate about your particular area of expertise, events like this are a great place to hear others’ thoughts on a wide range of topics in IT security.

You get the opportunity to meet and talk to cybersecurity professionals from all over. I became more motivated than ever before to reach my own career goals. I want to improve myself, and maybe one day I can work with some of the amazing people I met at Hacktivity. Máté, content developer

Hacktivity provided a wide range of topics in their presentations, and not all of them required deep technical knowledge. There were multiple speakers who discussed general security awareness and best practices, perfect for those with business roles in IT security, or anyone interested in higher-level approaches. These kinds of talks are not only easier to digest, but also good input for business development.

As a UX researcher, I find it important to gather as much knowledge from the tech field as possible. Not just practical knowledge, but the nature of the developer community as a whole. Creating bridges of understanding can further the product development process in the future, and I think Hacktivity is a great source for that. Gréti, UX researcher

Source: Flickr.com

IT security is an important part of everyday business decisions, so it’s important for people working in non-developer roles, such as sales or marketing, to understand the general ideas and technology behind IT security solutions. This is why it was so great that Hacktivity provided presentations which gave us a comprehensive perspective of the different aspects of cybersecurity.

I work closely with developers and software engineers, and the product that we brand, market, and communicate is made for developers. Attending Hacktivity is an amazing opportunity to help us understand our professional environment and find room for improvement. Ábel, junior marketing manager

For our team, the most enjoyable presentation had to be the last one. Sure, it was a refreshing and entertaining presentation, but it was also given by none other than Dávid Schütz, our very own colleague at Avatao. He gave an excellent talk about how he found several bugs in a variety of Google applications, and the speech was supplemented with some super interesting data and screen recordings – way to go, Dávid!

We all benefited from this awesome event in different ways. Some of us deepened our knowledge in specific areas, while others gained new experience in IT security overall. It was a great opportunity to meet new people from the industry, but also for us to get together as a team. We all had a blast, and look forward to attending again next year!

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