Meeting Kevin Mitnick Thanks to ISSA PR

Photo of Rachid Molinary

In my previous life as an IT Security and Governance professional, I use to earn most of my income helping companies safeguard their overall assets by identifying Threats, Vulnerabilities, and the risk each IT process could create.

I fast forward to now and I am more in the state of looking into business processes to help businesses of all sizes use new technology in order to help their ideas, concepts, and/or businesses grow.

This past November I had the opportunity to collaborate with a few colleagues who were working on the Fifth Annual ISSA Puerto Rico conference.

Since the ISSA Puerto Rico Chapter was founded, I have not missed any symposiums and I was not going to miss this one. The ISSA board brought me in to help them with their online communications and as a volunteer to share the event with our communities.

The day of the symposium started with a welcome by the Board's president Elimael Aviles and a quick overview by Bruno Haring on how he founded the chapter 5 years ago.

Don’t Become an Easy Target – Q1 Labs

One of the speakers that quickly caught my attention was Peter Allor an ex-Special Forces officer turned IBM security consultant for Q1 Labs ( an IBM Company). He spoke about Cyber Security Threat Landscape. Peter moved around the public and explained why he was not at the podium. He said it felt similar to being a static object in combat hence becoming an easier target to hit. That comment reminded me of two things:

  1. Last march when internet pioneer Jeff Pulver visited Puerto Rico for a meet up, he made me think a bit more about how a speaker projects himself by taking the stage or staying at the same level of the audience.
  2. The many sharp officers I met during my military career which would get the troops pumped up and inspiring them by standing in front and showing they cared.

Later I had the opportunity to chat with Peter Allor about his experience as a Special Forces officer and how that has helped him greatly in many aspects of life especially when dealing with people.

Peter was nice enough to create this quick spontaneous video explaining what Q1 Labs does and as an ISSA Sponsor. If you want to learn more about security go to 

Mobile Application Case Study

One of the reasons I never miss the ISSA Conference is the diversity in topics that fit in one way or the other the overall IT Security ecosystems.

Last march at SXSWi I met Rachid Molinary while walking on Austin's 6th street and weeks later I became a fan of the pictures he shares online. Rachid works for Banco Popular and was one of the people in charge of creating their mobile platforms including the iPhone application.

Rachid spoke about how Banco Popular uses innovation to improve overall customer experience. One of my main concerns with my current bank is how they are so behind in tools to help me manage my accounts that after hearing Rachid talk about Banco Popular’s innovation, I might change my feelings towards the bank and open a business account with them.

Kevin Mitnick 

As I shared in this blog previously , I have been a fan of Kevin Mitnick. I had the opportunity to talk with him for a few minutes before he spoke to the audience. I had seen Kevin on TV and in a very funny interview with Stephen Colbert but I was not expecting him to get on stage and be such an awesome storyteller.

Kevin took us back to his childhood years and how he started hacking processes to his benefit; from getting free rides on the LA transport system to changing the phone infrastructure to play some well-structured pranks on others.

During his talk I began to really understand why he was able to create so much commotion by being one of the most well known hackers in history.

When Kevin spoke it felt like he was sitting in a living room somewhere sharing his stories with people that where in his inner circle. Trying to create this ambience in an audience of 200+ people is no easy task but Kevin was able to accomplish it.

After Kevin ended his talk he stayed for multiple pictures with those who approached him. I was able to get a picture with him and also have him record some safety tips for parents who have their kids using the computer for our other blog

Overall, I was very impressed with how the ISSA Puerto Rico Board did such a great job organizing the event.

I am very grateful that Vincent De Hoyos and Ricardo Acosta invited me to collaborate with them to make such an awesome event happen.

Special Thanks to these two sponsors

Ricoh - To Ricoh for sponsoring the previous year and raffling a camera that I won. Some of the images shared where taken with a Ricoh CX2.

Q1 Labs - To Peter Allor and Catherine Meehan for the neat swag they gave me and other participants but most importantly for the time they took in explaining their products so I could get a better understanding of them.

Other Sponsors

  • Ernst and Young
  • Absolute Software
  • BDO
  • EDP
  • Microsoft