Bryson Bort: From Red to Purple: The Evolution of Cybersecurity

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About the Guest:

Bryson Bort is a recognized information security expert, founder, and entrepreneur with extensive experience in the cybersecurity field. Bryson is the founder and CEO of Scythe, a cybersecurity company known for creating a platform that enables security teams to build and emulate real-world adversarial campaigns in a safe manner. He has a rich background, having grown up in Germany and the Soviet Union, and served at West Point and as an officer in the Army and Signal Corps. Bryson is also known for his work in defense and intelligence, and he's a prominent figure for his contributions to the information security community. Additionally, he co-founded a nonprofit called the ICS Village dedicated to education and advocacy for critical infrastructure security.

In this thought-provoking episode of "The Philip Wylie Show," the host Phillip Wylie dives into an in-depth conversation with cybersecurity maven Bryson Bort. The audience is welcomed into Bryson's world of entrepreneurship and cybersecurity innovation, with particular emphasis on his journey from military service to founding cutting-edge cybersecurity ventures.

Bryson's impactful narrative charts his transition from his startup Scythe's initial product offering—a platform for creating custom, scalable cyberattack simulations—to driving the cybersecurity industry forward with accessible automated defenses. Bryson shares insights into the psychological barriers in information security, the evolution of cyber threats, and the critical role of post-access attack strategies. Furthermore, the episode shines a light on the operational technology (OT) space, underscoring the pressing need for robust cybersecurity measures amidst crucial infrastructures and the inherent risks of physical harm.

  • Bryson Bort's transition from military service to cybersecurity entrepreneurship highlights the value of real-world offensive security experience in building successful startups.
  • The concept of "Bryson Attack Model" (BAM), which emphasizes the significance of post-access attack phases, reveals limitations in the traditional cybersecurity defenses.
  • The progression from red team tools to a more enterprise-friendly purple teaming approach suggests a shift in cybersecurity practices aiming for collaborative and immediate security enhancements.
  • Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and OT cybersecurity represent a field of critical importance with unique challenges, including the need for balancing safety with potential cyber threats.
  • Bryson Bort discusses the importance of drawing wisdom from cybersecurity's past to inform future defenses, hinting at the release of a detailed paper on developing a true cyber warfare capability.
  • "The first is reconnaissance [...] the second step is I break in. Initial access [...] That's the third phase, the post access." -Bryson Bort
  • "We built our initial platform in C Sharp. No assembly [...] Red team operators aren't developers." -Bryson Bort
  • "I describe being a startup founder as you are the CEO and you're the janitor." -Bryson Bort
  • "Going back to your question earlier, what does the real thing look like? I think that will also give a lot more detail that I'll be comfortable sharing because I'll have time to really think with him through what we're willing to share publicly." -Bryson Bort

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Bryson Bort: From Red to Purple: The Evolution of Cybersecurity
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