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401 Access Denied Podcast

Welcome to the 401 Access Denied Podcast, where we dissect what’s really going on in today’s world of cyber security. Topics range from finding a job in cyber security, to dealing with insider threats, to going inside the mind of a hacker, and more.

Bi-weekly, Thycotic’s ethical hacker Joseph Carson and the cyber security training experts from Cybrary will share their insights along with our special guests.

Want to give input on our next cyber security podcast? Give us your topics

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Voted "Best Cybersecurity Podcast" in the 2021 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards
Cyber Security Excellence Awards 2021

Thycotic produces this podcast in partnership with Cybrary, the cyber security and IT career development platform.

401 Access Denied

Episode 27

1 Year Anniversary Special: The Making of 401 Access Denied

EPISODE SUMMARY

It’s the special anniversary edition of the 401 Access Denied podcast! In honor of our 1-year anniversary and more than 16,000 listens, Joe and Mike want to take you behind the scenes and introduce you to everyone who works on the podcast and brings it to you biweekly. Listeners, thank you for hanging out with us for 1 magical year. We want to hear your thoughts here. What topics or guest stars matter to you?

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Joseph Carson

  • Chief Security Scientist at ThycoticCentrify
  • Over 25 years' experience in enterprise security
  • Author of "Privileged Account Management for Dummies" and "Cybersecurity for Dummies"
  • Cyber security advisor to several governments, critical infrastructure, financial and transportation industries
  • Host of award-winning podcast, 401 Access Denied
  • Speaker at conferences globally
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Mike Gruen

  • Cybrary VP of Engineering / CISO
  • Manages Cybrary’s engineering and data science teams, information technology infrastructure, and overall security posture
  • 20+ years of experience developing and overseeing the implementation of complex, secure, and scalable software solutions and products
  • Previously served as VP of Engineering and VP of Product & Platform at RedOwl
  • B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland at College Park

Joseph Carson:

Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of 401 Access Denied. We have a really great special episode for you today. It's all about the making of the 401 Access Denied Podcast and really kind of gives you a connection with what goes in in the background, who's involved, and what's everyone's roles, so we're really excited.

Joseph Carson:
We have probably some of the very special guests that we'll ever have on this show. We maybe only get to see them once, or maybe we can have them come back on for other episodes and showing a bit more about what they do.

Joseph Carson:
Again, my name is Joseph Carson. I'm the chief security scientist of Thycotic, and I'm again joined with my cohost Mike Gruen. Do you want to give us a little bit about updating yourself and what we have in for the show today?

Mike Gruen:
Yeah. Mike Gruen, VP of engineering and CISO here at Cybrary. And, yeah. Special anniversary edition. It's not that we ran out of topics. It was more that we wanted to celebrate our one year anniversary of releasing the podcast, and we want to show everybody behind the scenes who really helps us to make this a podcast that seems to be taking off. And we're really happy and couldn't do it without everybody on this today. I'll let them go around the room and introduce themselves. Why don't we start on the Thycotic side-

Joseph Carson:
Sure.

Mike Gruen:
... with Jen, and go from there?

Jen Carroll:
Hey. I am Jen Carroll. I work with the Cybrary and Thycotic teams putting together the topics. I write those fun abstracts about the sessions that hopefully get you guys to want to listen in. And then mostly, my job is to keep them on track when we're planning out the next podcast, because otherwise, they get so excited about the topics, they would just do the whole podcast, when we're supposed to be talking about, what guests do we want, and everything else. You're up.

Molly Troha:
My name is Molly Troha, and I'm a marketing manager at Thycotic. And I work with Jen to help get the podcast published on our end, on our website, and then I work with our social media team to promote it via social media, multiple times.

Thomas Horlacher:
Well, thanks, Molly. That's definitely a huge help for the podcast. I'm Thomas Horlacher, head of creative services here at Cybrary. I run our creative team that helps to edit the podcast and kind of compile it and post it as well. I'm in the meetings with Jen and Joe and Mike, kind of scheduling the topics and helping to schedule out the episodes and everything. And Jeremy and Anya today that are here with us are two of my team members. Anya, if you'd like to go first, and then explain what you do, and then we'll go to Jeremy.

Anya Mudryakova:
Sure thing. My name is Anya and, Anya Mudryakova, and I'm a graphic designer on our creative services team, but I also help with video editing. I do all of the video edits for our podcast.

Jeremy Goldberg:
Cool. My name is Jeremy Goldberg. I'm the digital media editor and audio engineer at Cybrary. Aside from editing and publishing all of our course content on our platform, I also work here in the studio at Cybrary, and I do all the audio editing and publishing for the podcast.

Mike Gruen:
And removing all the things that we don't want.

Joseph Carson:
Yeah.

Jeremy Goldberg:
Yeah.

Mike Gruen:
Exactly. All the outtakes and all the... Jeremy knows all of the secrets, I think.

Jeremy Goldberg:
Yeah.

Mike Gruen:
Anya as well.

Jeremy Goldberg:
Yeah.

Joseph Carson:
All the things that happens in the background.

Jen Carroll:
Telling Mike when he's too loud.

Jeremy Goldberg:
Yeah. Exactly.

Joseph Carson:
But it's impressive when we look at, this has now been a year, and if I think about, we're on 25, 26 episodes so far, which is pretty impressive, because it feel... I'm so excited, because we have so many amazing guests on.

Joseph Carson:
And the team in the background, I really kind of congratulate you, because getting the podcast out there on time, and the edits, and sometimes myself and Mike probably make it really difficult for you, from me and my accent, which is probably not the easiest one to do transcriptions from and transcribing from that.

Joseph Carson:
And myself and Mike, we just had some bloopers, I think I've had, were lighting issues or Internet connectivity issues. And there's so many things that happen in the background that the audience don't get to see, but it really does happen. And it's the team here who really clean it up and finish it and put it together and take a lot of the things.

Joseph Carson:
We've had where a guest might want certain things removed that they might have said, or we might want to reduce it down or make it into multiple episodes. It's pretty impressive, the team effort that goes into... while everyone gets to hear me and Mike every two weeks.

Mike Gruen:
Well, mostly you.

Joseph Carson:
Mostly me, because I do have a lot to say. But I think it's really kind of important to show behind the scenes, what really goes into the podcast.

Joseph Carson:
I'd like to hear from Molly, because for me, I think doing transcribing is probably the interesting, to see what comes out, or what complications, because when me and Mike's talking, there is no gaps. Even when I'm getting into doing editing, the audio is just-

Molly Troha:
Oh, yes.

Joseph Carson:
... flat line. There's no gaps in-

Molly Troha:
There's a lot of, yes, a lot of overlap. Yes. And it's funny. I don't want to take credit for doing the transcription itself. We use a service, but they do help. I put in a glossary of terms, specific ways we want them to capitalize things. Or if there's specific products you guys talk about, I make sure they know how to write that out.

Molly Troha:
But then I also put in the speakers' accents, so I think sometimes, we'll get people from the UK doing the transcription. Sometimes we'll get people from the US doing transcription, and some do a better job than others. We get to rate the transcription each time, and I go through and clean it up and then rate how they did.

Joseph Carson:
Can we do requests for Belfast accent? Because that's one that's very difficult. People from Belfast, they can't have conversations on the telephone because you need to see their mouth to be able to understand what they're saying. Maybe it's a feature request we can have for them, is to have a special-

Molly Troha:
We'll see. Yeah.

Joseph Carson:
... translator for Belfast. We might even need to do captions. Maybe that's something Anya might be able to do, sort of put captions on the bottom so we can translate.

Joseph Carson:
But Mike, what things have you thought? In the past year, we've done a lot of episodes. What's your most memorable moments, Mike?

Mike Gruen:
Oh, my most memorable moments. There's so many great guests we've had. I always love talking to Josh who, Lospinoso, from Shift5. He and I worked together. All the great guests we've had that you've introduced me to. It's sort of hard to pick from that perspective.

Mike Gruen:
When I was thinking about this episode and some of the stuff, the early days and all of the, us just trying to figure it all out, because in the beginning, it was just me and you, and we weren't really sure. Are we going to have guests? And what topic do we want to talk about?

Mike Gruen:
And then we brought on a couple of guests, and we were like, "Wow. This is so much better than just me and Joe talking." Not that we can't do that, but just getting that other opinion in. And I think that's, I think, that moment when we realized that was what we wanted to do with the podcast. That's pretty cool.

Mike Gruen:
And then also how we sort of simplified it at that point. In the early days when it was just me and you, I think we would record locally. We would do this, and we'd do that. Then we'd have to get all of the files individually over to Tommy and to Anya and Jeremy, and they'd have to sort of stitch it all together. By having the guests on, it really forced us to simplify the whole process.

Mike Gruen:
And so I think many of my early failings were in getting them the files on time or getting them all of the files or whatever they needed. And so it certainly made my aspect of it, to just be able to show up and record, a lot easier when we switched to that. I'm curious what Anya or Jeremy think, because they were sort of in the switch and the evolution of the program.

Jeremy Goldberg:
Well, I'm not going to lie, I can't think of a specific instance. There's a lot of things that could go wrong that just get fixed faster than... nobody ever knows that they happened. And I joined Cybrary, or I started working at Cybrary around two years ago when I was fresh out of college. And just naturally, I made multiple mistakes, but we nipped them in the bud really quickly.

Anya Mudryakova:
Yeah. Me and Jeremy actually started around the same time. We were both fresh out of college in that sense. And actually, fun fact, Jeremy started out editing the video and the audio of the podcast. Since I did graphic design, I was on other projects, which I don't know how he did all that and the Cybrary Podcast and everything. I think once I came in, hopefully that helped that out a bit. And I think the flow also, as we went on, started improving more and more. I feel like we really have a definite flow of how everything goes, so even if there are mistakes or smaller things, it's a lot easier to catch, because there's more eyes on it now, in the process.

Joseph Carson:
Absolutely. And I agree with all the comments. It's really evolved. Me and Mike could do things, basically have that rapport and the communication, just having those conversations. But the dynamics really changed with the guests. It really kind of brought new ideas and new opinions in, and I think it really made myself and Mike think more about kind of the topics and how the discussions go.

Joseph Carson:
But I think what's impressive is that we do this all in one take. We basically do it from start to finish. There is no retakes. I don't think we've ever done a retake, if I recall. We may have stopped-

Mike Gruen:
Not of a complete episode, but right, there's-

Joseph Carson:
... Not of a complete episode.

Mike Gruen:
... There's the one time. I forgot who we were talking to, but I think it was Dan Lohrmann, when everything on my side dropped out, and then I came back in. And I came back in, and you immediately asked me a question. I was like, "I don't know where we are in the conversation, if we could just take a break and maybe roll back a little bit."

Mike Gruen:
And I think, to Jeremy and Anya and Tommy's credit, I don't know how hard or easy it is to hear that, to go back to that episode and even pick up that that had happened, because I think they do a phenomenal job of fixing our mistakes. "We can fix it in post," is a pretty common phrase.

Joseph Carson:
How difficult it is to stitch those together? Because I remember that episode. I think it was all of a sudden, your just camera shut out, and you end up going to a separate camera, and then the lighting dimmed. We were, at one point, looking at the side of your head rather than talking to you. And me and Dan kind of kept the conversation going, and then when you came back in, it did make sense that, let's pause it. Let's do a clip, and then reset, and do that question again. I'm just curious. How difficult is it to stitch those together?

Thomas Horlacher:
It can be monotonous, but...

Joseph Carson:
And Jen, you're in the background, helping, doing all of the planning and organizing. How difficult are myself and Mike to manage?

Jen Carroll:
Oh, my gosh. So difficult. The divas. The divas I have to work with. No. You guys are obviously awesome. I love that you guys really sync really well when it comes to picking topics. And then, I feel like the hard part is, you guys both at this point in your careers know so many people. We're talking about a topic and who can come in and guest speak with us, and there's 10 options. How can we narrow done? Because there's so many people you guys are excited to talk to.

Jen Carroll:
But I was waiting for you to ask me what my most memorable moment of the behind the scenes is, and I think-

Joseph Carson:
What is it?

Jen Carroll:
... I think that it is about, I don't know, maybe we were five months into the podcast, and all of a sudden we realized you guys had never introduced yourselves or told the audience why the hell they should care what you have to say. I can't remember. I think Tommy, I think you were the one that caught that. And we were like, "Hey, you guys, maybe we should tell people who you are."

Thomas Horlacher:
Yeah. It might make sense to give some onus to what you guys are talking about and some validity to what you guys are saying, that it's not just two random people talking about stuff. Yeah. I don't remember when we kind of figured that out and I was like, "Yeah. Let's record some type of intro that explains." And, yeah. Mike, I think you rerecorded that.

Thomas Horlacher:
I went through yesterday just to kind of see when we came up with the idea of the podcast, because I could not remember. Jen, I think you had emailed one of our other employees here, Tom, about partnering on a podcast, and we started that conversation March of last year. And then Joe, you were on the Cybrary Podcast. We recorded an episode in March, and then that came out at the beginning of April.

Thomas Horlacher:
And then by May, we were already releasing the first couple of episodes of 401. It was a very quick kind of turnaround conversation between, hey, this is an idea that we have, to a month and a half later, we're already releasing episodes and setting up timelines and all of that stuff.

Thomas Horlacher:
It definitely went very quickly, and we learned a lot on the way as we went. Our editing and the process that we do on our side has definitely changed a lot over the course of just kind of going through the episodes. It's just been kind of interesting seeing how it's evolved over the last couple of years or over the last year.

Joseph Carson:
Yeah.

Mike Gruen:
It's also interesting because there's another company that we had sort of a similar thing where we tried to get something going, and those episodes have just never been released. Totally different, Cybrary and another company. And for whatever reason, we couldn't quite get everything all aligned.

Mike Gruen:
I think the speed at which this all happened and just everybody's flexibility and dedication to making it happen is what's allowed it to thrive. It's not like that other group. We talk all the time about, what are we going to do about this, and da, da? It just never really solidified.

Mike Gruen:
And I think it just so quickly happened. I think that was what was impressive, was let's throw some stuff up. And then, right, we clearly, maybe we should have thought about it more.

Mike Gruen:
I think it was my mom who was like, "Hey, you never introduced yourself." And I was talking to Tommy, and he's like, "Oh, is that right?" And then...

Joseph Carson:
Oh, actually, I remember that time so well. I remember somebody saying that, "We're already a few months in. We actually haven't actually mentioned our names or what we do or where we come from." And it was quite ironic.

Jen Carroll:
Oh, yeah. We all had the same reaction. Oh, duh. Why did none of us think of that?

Joseph Carson:
It's a probably important aspect of a podcast, to tell people who you are. I think it was a funny moment when we realized and we tried to figure out, how do we just slide it in there?

Thomas Horlacher:
Yeah. Right. Right.

Joseph Carson:
Make it happen. But absolutely. And one thing for me is now is we've got thousands of people listening to the episode, which is quite impressive for a podcast in the first year. And I get comments almost weekly from social media, people who's listening across the world. I think it's pretty impressive, the feedback that I get from the audience and listeners.

Joseph Carson:
Anything, what we do, and making the podcast happen, I think what's really critical is that we have consistent people who come and listen to the podcast. And I think podcasts, they aren't any value unless you have people who's actually listening to it.

Joseph Carson:
It's the listeners and audience out there that make the success and make us continue and to look for ideas and look for content and look for educational material to really meet the audience's, what they're looking for. It's always great to get that feedback and comments, which I get on a weekly basis from our listeners across the world.

Thomas Horlacher:
Yeah. I've gotten feedback as well, and I think it just goes to you and Mike's just ability to explain things and go into detail, and the caliber of guests that we've had on. It's not just high level people listening to the podcast. It's people from all over the spectrum.

Thomas Horlacher:
I have a friend who's trying to get into the cyber industry that loves the episodes just because he's hearing more in depth discussions on stuff. Me, myself, Anya, and Jeremy, we don't all have cyber security backgrounds, and I know every episode's interesting to each of us for different reasons and different things. It's nice that it comes across as a very well polished and well put together episodes that we do, even though there's things in the background that people aren't aware of.

Thomas Horlacher:
I, for instance, almost completely deleted an entire episode, which I had a freakout for a good three hours, couldn't find an episode. We record through Zoom, and I found it in our Zoom deleted files, way back months before, and I finally pulled it out. Yeah. Yeah. Just little things like that happen every now and then.

Thomas Horlacher:
I know Anya and Jeremy are probably done putting up with me when I'm just like, "Where's this? Or where's this? Or where are we at?" I try to stay on top of everything as best as I can, but they're both very good at what they do, and they're always ahead of the podcast, which is nice.

Joseph Carson:
Yeah. That's fantastic. I've had a similar blooper, but not to that extent of deleting an entire episode.

Thomas Horlacher:
Yeah.

Joseph Carson:
I was sitting one night, because I create the little clips, the snippets for the social media. When I get the video and the file, I basically will watch it several times and then kind of make markers into where I think where we can actually create a nice little kind of summary or snippet into who the guests is or the topic that we're going to be talking about, or something that might be of interest from a social perspective.

Joseph Carson:
And I remember doing a lot of edits and creating those little snippets and getting them ready. And I use Camtasia for doing those basically edit side of things. And when I went and I did a render, and I made the mistake of calling the file the same name as the file that I was actually importing.

Anya Mudryakova:
Yeah.

Joseph Carson:
And what that did was it rendered it to zero bytes. And when I came out, I was just like, "What have I done? What have I done? Can I get it back?" I was so fortunate that I was actually in a cloud drive, that I was able to then go find a version and go back. But it did mean that I did have to go and redo the edits again. I don't know. Anya, you sound like you have familiar with that, but-

Anya Mudryakova:
I just have to say, I did that a month ago, exactly the same thing but on Premiere. Yeah. Naming it the same exact file type, and then it just crashes and disappears.

Joseph Carson:
Yeah. And you end up with a zero bytes file, and you're looking going-

Anya Mudryakova:
Was not a fun time.

Joseph Carson:
... That's not the one I wanted to create. Yes. If you ever go into editing, always make sure that you have a good naming convention, and do not name it the same file name.

Mike Gruen:
And backups. Backups are good.

Joseph Carson:
Backups are very good. Absolutely. But for me, I think the guests on the show have been amazing. All the episodes. If anyone was to ask me what's my favorite, I struggle, because the guests have been, we've had some really top industry experts coming on the show.

Joseph Carson:
And we've had from all around the world, from several in the US. We've had guests in Estonia. We've had government officials. We've had journalists from Finland. We've had behavior analytical psychologists from the UK. Or David Scott Lewis, who's known as David Lightman from War Games, who joined us from Hong Kong. That gets into some complications with time zones and scheduling.

Mike Gruen:
The vulnerability disclosure one-

Joseph Carson:
Oh.

Mike Gruen:
... that was a nightmare. There was only one hour where all of us are awake, because it was around the world. I appreciate Joe's flexibility on doing one at 11:00 at night, because I think we had-

Mike Gruen:
... San Francisco, Sydney, DC-

Joseph Carson:
DC.

Mike Gruen:
... and Estonia.

Joseph Carson:
Estonia.

Mike Gruen:
It was tough to schedule that one.

Joseph Carson:
Yeah. Yeah.

Thomas Horlacher:
A great episode, though.

Mike Gruen:
Yeah. It was a great episode.

Joseph Carson:
That was. The thing was is that, no one realizes that the conversation we had before the recording was so much fun, because we actually had, we just had an open, I can't remember, it was 15, 20 minutes of conversation before we started the recording. Even if we had that piece, having Katie and, is it Casey?

Thomas Horlacher:
Casey.

Mike Gruen:
Casey.

Joseph Carson:
Yeah. That was a fun discussion. We brought up very interesting topics and very even controversial pieces as well, because when you're talking about those gray areas and vulnerability disclosures, which is even... I've looked in a lot of the laws. UK just brought out a law today actually talking about the disclosure programs and how important it is. And I think even in the US, there's laws coming out as well related to it, but...

Mike Gruen:
For the curious, this is what Jen was referring to earlier, where just Joe and I geek out on these topics.

Joseph Carson:
I'll continue. I'll go on and on and on. Yeah. I do remember that well, because I did finish at 12:30 midnight or something that day, because it was a late evening podcast recording.

Mike Gruen:
Yeah. Yeah.

Joseph Carson:
But I did enjoy the walk home. It was very quiet.

Mike Gruen:
I think the other thing that I've learned, and this gets back to we know so many people and there's so many topics, but I frequently feel at the end of a topic that there's so much more we can talk about. And so I think what we've gotten better at is just saying, "You know what? We're going to have two different guests to talk about the same topic. We'll space them out."

Mike Gruen:
I think the stuff that we did with OT is a good example of that, where we had a multi episode. And there was no way we could cover all that in one, which also leads me to, I think, one of my most surprising things, is that one of those episodes with my friend Steve Jacobs on Scientific Instruments is one of the most downloaded episodes we have.

Mike Gruen:
And I found that to be surprising, because it seemed, not the least applicable or anything, but just so edge case that I didn't think it was mainstream for our audience or whatever. We didn't really advertise it much and market it much. We don't talk about what company he's from. There's a lot of stuff.

Mike Gruen:
I thought that that one being the most downloaded, or one of the most downloaded, was interesting, as opposed to some of the other more well known guests that we've had on, just surprising.

Joseph Carson:
Absolutely. And Molly, just kind of your interesting side of things, have you had any? What's your episode or thing that you recall the most interesting and intriguing?

Molly Troha:
Well, my favorite episode was Inside a Russian Troll Farm with Jessikka Aro. I just thought it was fascinating, and I also was a psychology major once upon a time for a bit, so it makes sense that I would be interested in that one. But that one, I thought, was just fascinating.

Mike Gruen:
Yeah.

Joseph Carson:
Yeah. She really brought a really interesting and intriguing story, which is probably one of the biggest things in our industry that we have that is a big challenge, is trolling. It's sad to see, but there's so much of it in social media that it's... We're in an industry that's full of it. For me, hopefully those stories will show people the reality, what happens in the background, and what things you can do to overcome it as well, to really reduce it and share with other people, which is important.

Joseph Carson:
Anya, interested what your episode, which one? You've been doing a lot of the recent ones. Which is your kind of one memory that you have that intrigues you the most?

Anya Mudryakova:
Well, I think us on the Cybrary team all agreed we love the Inside the Russian Troll Farm episode. I specifically really enjoyed it because I'm actually from Russia, and I have family that is still in Russia. My grandparents are actually in Siberia. And a lot of the topics you talked about regarding the media and things like that are very, very much relevant to how I speak to them over Zoom and stuff like that. It was a very real one, for sure.

Anya Mudryakova:
But aside from that, I would have to say I really enjoyed election security as well. I think anything that mixes current events with cyber security always gain my interest so much, and election security was one of them. I think we recorded it at such a perfect time as well, when it was very, I mean, it's still really relevant, but at the time, it was specifically relevant because of the election in the US here. I think listening to that episode as well was definitely super enjoyable. I think those two episodes definitely have to be my top two.

Joseph Carson:
Awesome. And Jeremy? I'm just interested. What was the first episode we did? What's your most intriguing or kind of memorable episode?

Jeremy Goldberg:
I don't want to toot a dead horn or whatever.

Thomas Horlacher:
We'll fix it in post.

Jeremy Goldberg:
Yeah. Fix it in post. Yeah. Yeah.

Thomas Horlacher:
We'll fix it in post. It's fine.

Jeremy Goldberg:
I also-

Joseph Carson:
Or we just leave it in, because this is the reality.

Mike Gruen:
Right. Exactly. Right. Right.

Jeremy Goldberg:
Reality. I'm not perfect. No. My favorite was Inside the Russian Troll Farm as well. I used to study journalism before I even got into audio engineering, and the whole investigative journalism scene was super fascinating to me. As soon as Jessikka released her article, the lashing feedback that she got, people calling her, and people from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and different places that have been affected by, I guess, the propaganda and the trolling. It was super fascinating to me.

Joseph Carson:
Yeah. Absolutely. It was definitely for me, the conversation and discussion, it was really enlightening, and listening to the story. I've known Jessikka for many years and had her come to visit Estonia. We've had lots of discussions and conversations. But listening to it again, it's always enlightening, and listening to it.

Joseph Carson:
She was due to get a special award from the US government. I just wish that she will actually get it eventually. I'm hoping at some point that she will get that brave award that she deserves.

Joseph Carson:
Tommy, what's-

Thomas Horlacher:
Yeah. Like Anya said, we all really enjoyed the Russian troll farm episode. I also liked the responsible disclosure one. I think hearing from Katie and Casey just how long they've been doing it, and there's always the stereotypical hacker in the hoodie that is doing all these bad things.

Thomas Horlacher:
And to hear from the side of somebody who kind of does that, and it's like, yeah, no. Responsible disclosure, it is called this term for a specific reason. We're trying to change the site. I thought that was really interesting.

Thomas Horlacher:
And then the episode with David Lewis. I went to film school, so any time you're talking about movies just really piques my interest. Those episodes, I really enjoyed. Yeah.

Joseph Carson:
Yeah. My next thing would be is if we were to have a special guest on the show, who would it be? Mike, if you could choose anyone in the world to have a conversation with, now, maybe you might like to have Ferris Bueller.

Mike Gruen:
Well, no, no. There's anyone in the world, and then I would love to have James Comey on. I'd love to talk to him about-

Joseph Carson:
Yes.

Mike Gruen:
... sort of the whole, I don't think you and I have ever really tackled the conversation around law enforcement and security and backdoor and the rest of it. And if there's anyone in that sort of realm, but that type of level, I'd love to have a guest on about that that's really able to talk about it. But then, I think that we wouldn't be able to air the episode, so...

Joseph Carson:
Yes there's going to be some sensitive information.

Mike Gruen:
Right.

Joseph Carson:
That would be fantastic. Even make me think about the likes of Rob Joyce or even Chris Krebs. Either one of those three, I would love to have on the show an episode, because absolutely.

Joseph Carson:
I think it reminds me back. I did an event a few years ago, and I was on as a ethical hacker as part of the panel, and we also had law enforcement. We had Europol. We had different government cyber law enforcement units.

Joseph Carson:
And it was hackers and law enforcement, and it was a really interesting conversation. It was all about that gray area, about making sure you stay within the law, making sure you actually... about backdoors, about disclosures. It was a really interesting conversation. Absolutely. I think that would be one that I would love to have a discussion on.

Joseph Carson:
Jen, if you were to have a guest on the show, let's say, who would it be?

Mike Gruen:
Maybe we can expand the question a little bit to topic as well, maybe not specific guests, but if there's a topic or something that you'd want, that you'd think that would be interesting to be covered. I think we have a pretty broad audience, and you all are cyber security adjacent, I like to say that Cybrary is cyber security adjacent. Yeah. If there's a topic or anything that...

Joseph Carson:
Yeah.

Jen Carroll:
Yeah. Yeah. I loved the SolarWinds episode that you guys did, because it was so timely, and that's something that we're all sitting there and reading the news and trying to find out what more can we all learn about it? I'm not going to lie, it was a little too technical for me, but you guys really got into it.

Jen Carroll:
But also, you guys just had a blast. You were cracking each other up from beginning to middle to end throughout that episode. That was a great episode.

Jen Carroll:
I think more of those timely, as these hacks are happening. It would be really cool to dive into more of those.

Mike Gruen:
Speaking of bloopers, hold on.

Mike Gruen:
Before we get too far, somebody's Slack notifications are on, and I can hear them.

Jen Carroll:
I know. That's me. It's me trying to... I closed Slack. I'm like, "I don't know what to do."

Mike Gruen:
It's all good. It's just funny because I think there was an episode where Joe's was going off throughout most of the episode.

Joseph Carson:
I apologize to whoever had to edit that episode, but yes. It was really difficult to turn off my notifications because it's my watch. My watch is right next to the microphone, so I apologize whoever had to edit that, because it must have been really difficult and horrible.

Thomas Horlacher:
Yeah. Just those random blooper things are things on our side we've tried a lot to just take it out of Mike's hands a little bit, so he walks in the studio and everything's kind of set up for him so that we can minimize his computer going off or stuff like that.

Thomas Horlacher:
I installed a clock in the studio so that he didn't have to keep looking at his watch or his phone, because I've done a couple of interviews, and when you're looking at the camera and then you're looking down at something, it seems like you're not listening to the person. It just makes it easier to be able to glance up at a clock so you know how much time you have left or something like that.

Thomas Horlacher:
Yeah. We put a lot of thought trying to minimize as much as we can those things to help Anya and Jeremy out so they're not just pulling their hair when they're editing things at the end.

Mike Gruen:
Yeah, using a separate computer as opposed to my computer. I just leave everything in the studio control room. When I walked in today, I left my phone in my pocket, but normally I just leave it out there. But then I was like, "Well, that's not going to help, because Jeremy's right there, so me leaving the phone next to him, now he's getting notifications he can't do anything with."

Joseph Carson:
So Molly, interested...

Mike Gruen:
Anyway, sorry.

Joseph Carson:
Yeah. No. I have the same. I think at some point in time, I need to have a little bit of electric shock in my chair that will tell me that when we're hitting certain time, because we do-

Jen Carroll:
That's a good idea. I'm going to start working on that.

Joseph Carson:
... go over.

Thomas Horlacher:
Yeah. We'll get-

Thomas Horlacher:
... Yeah. We'll get something that Jen can control and just shock you if you're talking too long or if you're going over time or something.

Jen Carroll:
I love it.

Joseph Carson:
Great. Yeah. Molly, interested if you had a special guest or a theme or topic, what would it be? What would you like to hear?

Molly Troha:
As someone who doesn't have a cyber security background, I always appreciate the ones that recap something that happened, so you guys can sort of break it down for us, or introductory topics, I always appreciate, because I'm still learning myself.

Jeremy Goldberg:
First of all, Molly, I'm 100% with you. I'm proficient in audio production. Yeah. No. The things I learned about cyber security I learned literally through tidbits I get from editing courses and listening to the podcast while I edit it. And of course, those random tidbits are, let's say it's in an advanced course, it's hard to really apply to a lot.

Jeremy Goldberg:
I agree with you on the introductory concepts and things like that. I also, just really random, cyber threat intelligence is something that really interested me, just through random course material.

Joseph Carson:
Anya, if you had a special guest or topic?

Anya Mudryakova:
For sure. Well, going back to, I guess, my favorite episode on election security, I think those sort of topics definitely very much draw me in and I'm very much curious about social media cyber security specifically. And for instance, Facebook was just under fire for certain things about censorship, or not censoring certain content, or figuring out how to differ content that is just opinion or is false information.

Anya Mudryakova:
Those topics definitely very much interest me, because I feel like that's extremely relevant. I'm sure especially with the pandemic, we all know we're all probably a lot more on social media now than ever before, and a lot of those sort of platforms are a bit difficult to go on when you have just people pointing you left and right when it comes to information.

Anya Mudryakova:
Any sort of guests, I guess, that maybe are in that sort of field where they work in social media. I would love to learn a little bit more about how that process is.

Joseph Carson:
Yeah. Well, now that we have Mark Zuckerberg's telephone number from the latest breach, we can probably give him a call and see if he would like to come on and comment about it.

Anya Mudryakova:
That was my next point. Yes.

Joseph Carson:
Tommy, any thoughts from you, or what's-

Thomas Horlacher:
Yeah. For specific guests and stuff, I kind of, about what Jen and Anya said, is those timely episodes. That's something that we're able to do very quickly with the podcast, that you and Mike are always available to, if something happens today, we can start recording an episode on it tomorrow or the next day.

Thomas Horlacher:
Those are things that kind of is in the zeitgeist, and everybody knows about. And it just kind of gives you a little more insight into what the SolarWinds hack is, for instance, because most people, you just hear it all in the news. You don't really know what goes into it. Those are the things that I really like.

Thomas Horlacher:
And it also goes back to our listeners. Our podcast has done pretty well over the last year. We haven't mentioned at all that we won the Cyber Security Excellence Award for Podcasts in 2021-

Joseph Carson:
Woo!

Thomas Horlacher:
... which is a huge shout out to everyone on this call and everybody on this podcast. A lot of work has gone into it over the last year.

Thomas Horlacher:
And so for our listeners, if you would like to answer this question on if there's a guest or a topic or something you would like to hear about, feel free to message me or Joe on Twitter and LinkedIn, or send us an email at podcasts@cybrary.it. Happy to kind of look into any of those topics or do anything.

Thomas Horlacher:
The relevant ones, the stuff that's in the media, are the ones that I always enjoy, because it helps to explain things that are over my head.

Joseph Carson:
Awesome. Mike, for us, it's really about probably simplifying a lot of the things, getting back to, we talk about the basics and getting into these overview sides. Maybe we think about getting into a little bit of these educational pieces which are kind of the surface, getting introductory topics. Be interesting to do.

Mike Gruen:
Yeah. Definitely. I think what's funny is when we first started recording, I sort of quickly hit upon my role on the show was to, hey, stop. You used an acronym there. Can we just back up and let everyone know what that acronym is? That's sort of one of my, I take that as my responsibility or duty, is to sort of make sure that we are sort of breaking some of those things down, because I know we can go very quickly over it.

Mike Gruen:
But, yeah. I think doing more of those types of episodes. And, Joe, I don't know, what guest or theme would you, if you could have?

Joseph Carson:
Oh. So many out there. For me, I'd love to get some more journalism. I think the investigative journalism is probably, for me, which is really intriguing because of the work that goes in the background. A lot of the journalists put themselves on the line, even themselves at risk sometimes, going into some of those locations to get the news and get the information out.

Joseph Carson:
Brian Krebs I know well, and I would love to maybe have Brian Krebs on at some point. As Jen had mentioned, does Krebs on Security. Or even Andy Greenberg, who wrote the book Sandworm, which I think is a really kind of very intriguing topic into really a major cyber attack and all of the kind of underneath, what happened, and the technical, and the political, the impact.

Joseph Carson:
Getting in those journalists, and because they really tell the story. They really simplify it and make it something that the audience would get value out of. I think I'd definitely like to look at having some of those guests on, because for me, I want to get educated myself when we do the podcast.

Joseph Carson:
And I think it's fantastic, Mike, when you stop me and say, "Let's step back," because I dive into the technical pieces. My background is in depth technical. And Mike reminds me sometimes, it's, "Well, let's step back, and let's make sure the audience got what we were talking about." I think that's what's really valuable. Yeah.

Joseph Carson:
Mike, and what's your thoughts on that?

Mike Gruen:
On what? Sorry.

Joseph Carson:
The guests or the topics.

Mike Gruen:
You started with me, so I already had thrown that out. But, yeah. I think-

Jeremy Goldberg:
We'll edit that out.

Mike Gruen:
... Yeah. Yeah. No. It's fine. We'll leave it in, because this is a fairly common thing. Yeah. No. I think those themes. There's been a few topics where, that have come up in the news and stuff like that, and trying to figure out how to do things in a more timely way, I think, trying to stay on top of that stuff.

Mike Gruen:
It is a little bit of a trick, because we both have full time jobs. And so I appreciate Tommy saying how available we are, and yet at the same time, I feel like it sometimes can be a struggle to sort of find the time and make the time. And I'm glad from his perspective it seems like we're always available, even when I feel like I have to shortchange somebody or something in order to make things happen. And I'm glad that it doesn't come out that way.

Joseph Carson:
Yeah. I agree.

Thomas Horlacher:
I always push my schedule through, so...

Mike Gruen:
He's like, "If you want to hang out tomorrow..."

Joseph Carson:
Absolutely. That's one of the challenges we mentioned about the time zones and stuff, because we're all different time zones, many of us. And I think really it comes down to is getting the guests, and scheduling, and making sure. I think both myself, I do see us as making ourselves very flexible and really kind of looking at, we focus on, what's the guest's availability, and then trying to make our schedule fit around that. And I think that's what we do a great job of making that possible.

Joseph Carson:
But absolutely. For the audience, myself and Mike, we have full time day jobs that we focus and put a lot of energy into. But I think the great thing is we take the value that we get from those jobs that we do, and we bring it into the podcast. We really add the value from that side as well. Maybe at some point, we even consider doing a live show.

Mike Gruen:
Yeah. We've talked about that. And the other thing, and I think this is why a live show could work, and you mentioned it earlier, about how we do things mostly in one take. There's not a lot of pre-meeting.

Mike Gruen:
The way it goes, we identify a guest, send them an email, "This is sort of what we're thinking about. When are you available?" Maybe spend five, 10 minutes before the actual recording just sort of talking them through and getting them prepped, and then just go straight in.

Mike Gruen:
We generally don't do a lot of prep work and other things. I think that allows us to be more flexible. We don't have to have three meetings about exactly what topics we want to cover or whatever. Sometimes I'll have a handful of questions I want to get to or whatever. But I think that would make a live show... I think we would-

Joseph Carson:
Absolutely.

Mike Gruen:
... be able to pull it off. I think my only fear is that sometimes I do say things that I regret.

Thomas Horlacher:
Yeah. We might have to have some sort of delay with something.

Mike Gruen:
I've been pretty good.

Joseph Carson:
Yeah. Some five seconds blooper button to pause, make sure.

Jen Carroll:
Yeah. Exactly.

Joseph Carson:
Yeah.

Thomas Horlacher:
Yeah. Yeah. Now that vaccines are rolling out and things are starting to open up, and I know more cyber security conferences are looking to have people in person, hopefully sometime this year, maybe next year, we can have Joe in studio. We can have Joe and Mike sitting next to each other.

Mike Gruen:
Or maybe we could just meet up at a conference and-

Thomas Horlacher:
Yeah. Or a conference, and record one there. Yeah.

Mike Gruen:
... and have guests that are going to meet us at the conference. That would be pretty cool.

Joseph Carson:
Oh, that would be fantastic. Even for the listeners, that's something we should probably really already start working on now, because those hybrid conferences, I think it's from July and post, I think the second half of the year. I think there'll be a lot more of these hybrid conferences. And, absolutely.

Joseph Carson:
I think that's one of the things, Mike, when we have guests on, we've already had previous experience and meetings and interactions, and we know the guests ourselves personally. I think that's what really makes it easier for us to do it in one take, because we've already built those relationships in bringing the guests on. They know who we are. We've had either, even podcasts, or we've had conversations and discussions previously.

Joseph Carson:
And I think that's what really has that connection, is that we just get on. We have a few minutes before, and we kick it off. Here's the topic. Let's see where it takes us.

Joseph Carson:
The important thing is, for the audience, none of it's scripted. It's never a script. I don't think there's ever been an episode where it's been scripted. We just see where the conversation takes us.

Mike Gruen:
I think the closest was the one we just recorded with cyber insurance, just because we had so much ground we wanted to cover. I was like, "Okay, I just want to get a list of questions." And we still didn't get through half of them, but I think that's the closest it ever gets to scripted.

Mike Gruen:
Even though our favorite, whatever it is, whether it's our favorite blogs or our favorite movies or whatever, there's no, Joe and I don't really do a lot of connecting ahead of time. And so we'll just get on and go to it and just hope that we don't have a lot of overlap. Or if we do, we can sort of talk about things and stretch it out into a full episode or whatever. But it's never been an issue.

Joseph Carson:
Absolutely. I'm really excited. I'm excited where this takes us in the future, and I'm really excited about building the audience. And for the audience, if you're just getting into the first few episodes, if so, I think definitely go back and listen to the previous ones. There's so much value there. And our amazing team here who put everything together, everyone has their favorites or the things that, their most memorable moments. I definitely recommend it.

Joseph Carson:
If there's episodes that you had missed, go back and listen to them. Take a look. We have basically a catalog, the ability to easily go back and subscribe, and you can go listen to the very first episode, the one I'm looking at right in here, was Busting Password Myths.

Mike Gruen:
That's right. Yeah.

Joseph Carson:
If you want to go back to looking at, about password hygienes and about putting passwords into the background, and that's something of interest, go back and listen to it, because even today, it's so valuable.

Joseph Carson:
And I'm really excited about where this is taking us. Hopefully, we'll be able to do the live shows. Maybe we get James Comey on. I'll see if we can pull some strings there, or Rob Joyce, or Chris Krebs, or Brian Krebs, which I know that both Chris and Brian are not related, just to reiterate out there.

Joseph Carson:
But, absolutely. I'm really excited where it's going. I'd love to do the live shows. And even in person events when we get back into traveling again, and going and grabbing some of the people that we know in the industry who are amazing and very knowledgeable, because that's what we can do. Myself and Mike and our connections, let's bring in the best people in the industry to share their experiences with the audience.

Joseph Carson:
Thanks for the team for putting this together. Thanks for all the hard work you do in the background. And myself and Mike, we hope to make it easier for you. Mike, any last comments or things that you would think that-

Mike Gruen:
No. Thank you very much to everybody, to make it possible. Makes it real easy for me. And then, yeah. Tommy mentioned, if you have any ideas, if you're a listener and you have any topics or ideas, you can reach out to him, myself, Joe on LinkedIn. I'm not as much on as much social media, so LinkedIn's definitely the best for me. But I think we also have Twitter for you guys, and it's all in the episode. Definitely reach out if there's any topics or guests or a topic that you really love that you'd want to see us do, go deeper on, or anything along those lines.

Joseph Carson:
Or if the person who's listening would like to come on the show.

Mike Gruen:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Joseph Carson:
Happy to get even some of the audience to come in and give their thoughts or what they would like to hear. And myself and Mike, we have so many connections in the industry, so if there is a person of interest that you would like to hear from, reach out and let us know. We can reach out to those potential speakers and guests and see if they'd be interested in coming on, because I'm pretty sure that they would want to share their story with you as well.

Joseph Carson:
Again, many thanks to the team. You're awesome. For me, I think, this amazing podcast, now award winning podcast. We have to repeat that. It's award... Whoa. Hey, reality. This is real. And we won't edit those out.

Joseph Carson:
But again, many thanks for the amazing work that goes in. We're really excited about building this up into really up there with one of the top podcasts and really being a leading source of basically information and educational content for you.

Joseph Carson:
Again, many thanks to the audience. Many thanks for the team. This is so fantastic. Again, go back and listen to previous episodes. Listen to this one. Subscribe so you can actually get the future episodes that's coming, which is going to be awesome, I'm pretty sure.

Joseph Carson:
Again, stay safe. Thanks for putting this together. And tune in every two weeks for an episode of 401 Access Denied. This is the anniversary one. We're so excited to bring news every single two weeks to you. Thank you. Stay safe and take care.