Podcasts – the busy person’s solution to everything

If you’re like me, there are never enough hours in the day to get the essentials done. You know the kind of thing – reply to urgent emails, finish working on that customer request that was due last week, pay the bills and brush your teeth.

So although we all know we should also be keeping up with the latest news in our field, and we’d all like to be better informed about interesting stories to share at dinner parties / in the office canteen / whenever there’s an embarrassing pause in conversation, when are you supposed to find the time to read up and get the latest info?

Whether your interest is in celeb gossip, the hunt for mass murderers or the latest trends in cuisine for cats, podcasts are, for many of us, the answer.

Cyber security is no exception. There are plenty of podcasts out there, so here is my list of the essentials – the podcasts I really look forward to for both information and entertainment (and yes, cyber security really can be entertaining).

For the latest information

Top of the tree here is definitely the cyberwire. It’s a daily 15 – 20 minute burst of all that’s new in cyber security from around the world. The lastest in ransomware trends, headline-grabbing security breaches, newly discovered flaws in your favourite software – it’s all there in a podcast that’s just the right size to start each day and make you feel like you’ve spent your commute doing something useful.

For your information and entertainment

If the cyberwire is a daily double espresso, Hacking Humans is perhaps the weekly gin and tonic on the train home on a Friday evening. Slightly longer, typically coming in at around 30 minutes per episode, it’s produced by the same people (cyberwire) and Dave Bittner, presenter of the cyberwire podcast, is one half of the presenting team here too. But this is a more light-hearted look at “the social engineering scams, phishing schemes, and criminal exploits that are making headlines and taking a heavy toll on organizations around the world”.

Featuring a temporally-poorly-named “Catch of the day” each week (hmmm) which shows just how hilariously bad some phishing campaigns still are, and a selection of interesting interviews with those in the know, this is a podcast which I consume, for peak freshness, as soon as it’s released.

Next up is longer again, with each episode an hour or more, and stories occasionally flowing into a second installment. But genuinely worth the investment in your time, Darknet Diaries, produced and presented by Jack Rhysider, is frequently a real eye-opener. From the story of how one man was able to wander in to a bank, get let in to the “staff only” area behind the cash desks and then walk out with a computer (episode 6) to tales of a pen-test that went really well – except they accidentally pen-tested the wrong company’s systems (episode 22) to the latest stories of global nation-state cyber attacks (various episodes), the one thing you can guarantee with Darknet Diaries is that you’ll never be bored.

You’ll never look at your kettle in the same way again

And finally, if you want to know where the security boundaries are in your phone, usb memory stick, or yes, your kettle, don’t miss a podcast provided by the people best-known for anti-virus solutions – McAfee. Their podcast – “Hackable?” is always fun, and is often an eye opener. Learn about the vulnerabilities in everything from your car to your keyboard, your coffee machine and yes, your kettle. (Moral of the story – don’t buy any device prefixed with “smart-” unless you’ve got a REALLY good reason to do so…)

Well, that’s it for this post – but I’ve a feeling that it’s a topic we may return to in future posts. If there are podcasts that you never miss in this area, let us know through the comments below!

Happy listening!