The Art and Science of Security Research

Presented at DEF CON 19 (2011), Aug. 5, 2011, 11 a.m. (50 minutes)

Research is a tricky thing, full of pitfalls, blind alleys, and rich rewards for the individual and humanity. This talk studies the art and science of conducting security research, from the genesis of your idea through experimentation and refinement to publication and beyond. In this talk you will learn how to generate and select powerful ideas, build upon the work of others, conduct groundbreaking work, and share your results for maximum desired effect. Whether you are a lone researcher or part of a large cabal you will take away ideas and techniques for maximizing the impact of your work, lest it lay dormant or have someone else rediscover your idea several years later.


  • Greg Conti - West Point
    Greg Conti is an Academy Professor and Director of West Point's Cyber Security Research Center. He is the author of Security Data Visualization (No Starch Press) and Googling Security (Addison-Wesley) as well as over 40 articles and papers covering online privacy, usable security, security data visualization, and cyber warfare. His work can be found at and