BarCode, a guest-based cybersecurity podcast out of Pike Creek, was born from the void left when networking events and conventions were put on hold for the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Before the pandemic hit, I used to go to conferences and there would always be happy hours where you would have informal conversations,” said BarCode host and creator Chris Glanden. “From my experience, a lot of great relationships and ideas are built in that atmosphere, not in the conference room, where it’s more of a one-way conversation. So I try to transplant that feeling into a podcast. It’s not ‘drunken cybersecurity,’ it’s a relaxing mindset more than anything.”
Every episode starts with a roughly two-minute sketch featuring Glanden and “bartender” Tony, who shares a different cocktail (or coffee, if the guest doesn’t drink alcohol) every episode before the guest is introduced. Then it switches to an informative conversation with experts and influencers in the cybersecurity world.
Glanden, whose professional cybersecurity experience includes working for ChristianaCare’s security group and Comcast, had wanted to do a podcast for years, but it wasn’t until the pandemic shut down in-person events that he found the opportunity.
“[The shutdown] allowed me to tap into industry leaders and trailblazers that were always out and about at conferences, because they couldn’t travel either,” Glanden said. “I reached out to a lot of folks who you probably wouldn’t be able to reach out to if COVID wasn’t occurring.” He interviews guests on Zoom and edits on Audacity, then outsources to master the audio for the final cut.
Some of the bigger names in cybersecurity from all over the world that have appeared on BarCode include Have I Been Pwned? creator Troy Hunt, Metasploit Framework developer HD Moore, cryptographer Bruce Schneier and former Tenable exec Ron Gula. He’s also included local guests such as ChristianaCare CISO Anahi Santiago, vCISO Naomi Buckwalter and Secure Monkey founder Stan Ivanov.
“On the one side I have worldwide leadership in the space, and on the other hand, I’m trying to incorporate my home base into my programming as well,” Glanden said.
“I think deepfakes is the one people should be watching out for,” Glanden said. “Deepfakes right now are really used for entertainment. You see Tom Cruise and it’s not really Tom Cruise, and you think, ‘Oh, that’s cool.’ But what happens when it’s the leader of your organization? As that technology becomes more accessible and cost effective you’re going to see cyber attacks with deepfake video and audio and a lot of false impersonation. That’s what I’m most concerned with.”
The latest episode features Liverpool-based social engineer Jenny Radcliffe, aka the “People Hacker.”
“She has been trained to do some crazy social engineering engagements, from breaking into banks to breaking into art studios overnight with armed guards,” the host said. “It’s mental hacking, the social psychology hacking.”
Other upcoming topics include ID theft and AI ethics, featuring an expert from New Zealand.
Local cybersecurity experts are encouraged to contact him if interested in appearing on the show. That could include young, college-based cybersecurity startups interested in a platform to pitch their business to BarCode’s listenership, which Glanden said includes cybersecurity leaders, engineers and entrepreneurs.