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From OSCP to OSDA: Mastering Cybersecurity at Black Hat USA

By Bailey Marshall

Black Hat USA 2024 is upon us, the premier security conference that brings together hackers (both ethical and… not so ethical) to share knowledge and push the boundaries of cybersecurity. This isn’t just about attending a class or two – Black Hat offers a vibrant ecosystem for security professionals to level up their skills and stay ahead of the curve.

Beyond the Courses: Why Black Hat USA Matters

Black Hat goes beyond a collection of training courses (although those are undeniably fantastic). It’s a security conference that attracts some of the brightest minds in the industry. Here’s what Black Hat offers:

  • Cutting-edge Briefings: Industry experts present their latest research on vulnerabilities, attack techniques, and defensive strategies. This is your chance to stay informed about emerging threats and gain insights directly from the researchers themselves.
  • Networking Opportunities: Black Hat is a melting pot of security professionals from all walks of life. You can connect with colleagues, potential employers, and fellow security enthusiasts. This kind of face-to-face networking can lead to valuable collaborations and career opportunities that might not exist online.
  • Vendor Showcase: Top security companies showcase their latest tools and technologies. This is a great way to stay informed about the ever-evolving security landscape and find solutions to address your organization’s specific needs.
  • Capture the Flag (CTF) Competition: Black Hat is famous for its CTF competitions. Here, teams of security professionals test their skills by solving puzzles and exploiting vulnerabilities in simulated environments. It’s a fun and challenging way to hone your practical skills in a competitive setting and learn from your peers.

OffSec Black Hat USA Training Partner

OffSec Training: Sharpening Your Security Arsenal

Black Hat USA 2024 is primed to be another exhilarating event for cybersecurity professionals. This year, a key highlight is the opportunity to participate in world-class training courses delivered by Applied Technology Academy, the exclusive Black Hat USA training partner for OffSec.

OffSec is a household name in the cybersecurity world, renowned for its industry-standard OSCP certification. But OffSec offers so much more! At Black Hat USA 2024, ATA will lead the charge in training, bringing a vast array of courses designed to transform you into a top-tier security professional. You’ll have the opportunity not only to learn how to exploit vulnerabilities in PEN-200 but also to understand how to defend against them through the robust defense analyst challenges in SOC-200.

We’re also thrilled that ATA will be teaching OffSec’s highly sought-after Advanced Windows Exploitation (AWE) course for Black Hat USA’s to come! Famously delivered by legendary OffSec instructors Morton and Sickness, we stand side by side to deliver this year as ATA prepares to take on the future of instructor-led AWE in North America! You’ll learn the latest techniques to bypass advanced security measures and master the art of complex Windows exploitation.

By attending these Black Hat training courses delivered by ATA, you’ll gain the benefit of learning from the same security experts who craft the curriculum. This unique opportunity ensures you’re receiving the most up-to-date and practical knowledge straight from the industry leaders and current practitioners!

The Power of OSDA: Beyond Penetration Testing

While OSCP focuses on hands-on exploitation, the OffSec Defense Analyst (OSDA) certification track takes a different approach. Here’s the key distinction: OSCP trains you to be a penetration tester, launching attacks on a vulnerable network. OSDA, however, molds you into a security auditor, conducting in-depth security assessments and sharpening your communication skills through report writing and analysis.

Why is the OSDA Certification Important?

Imagine this: you’ve conducted a penetration test, found vulnerabilities, and reported them to your client or manager. But did you truly understand the impact of those vulnerabilities? Did you assess the overall security posture of the system? Enter the OSDA-certified professional. They go deeper, analyzing not just technical exploits but also security policies, adversary tactics, and security operations center capabilities. These analysts must understand the process a hacker uses to attack a system and predict where they may target next.

How We’re Revolutionizing Blue Team Training

Here’s the exciting part: with the rise of OSDA, OffSec is subtly changing the blue team training landscape. Traditionally, blue team certifications focus on reactive measures like incident response. OSDA, however, emphasizes a proactive approach, teaching you to identify vulnerabilities even when they’re under active exploitation. Blue team courses like SOC-200 are designed to equip you with the methodologies used by top security auditors for conducting comprehensive security assessments and uncovering vulnerabilities beyond the scope of traditional pen testing.

In Conclusion:

Black Hat USA offers a wealth of security knowledge. This year, consider venturing beyond the red team training and explore the power of a blue team certification like the OSDA, or enhance your offensive security skills by engaging in a challenging yet fulfilling course like AWE! By attending briefings, networking with peers, and participating in training, you’ll gain a well-rounded understanding of both offensive and defensive security strategies.

Remember, the best defense is not a good offense. It’s a comprehensive and holistic approach, and Black Hat USA provides the perfect platform to become an invaluable asset in securing your organization’s critical infrastructure.


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