Mastering Threat Intelligence at RFUN 2018

Posted: 1st November 2018
By: Zane Pokorny

Recorded Future employees, partners, customers, and threat intelligence experts gathered again this year for the seventh annual Recorded Future User Network (RFUN) conference, held from October 22 to 24 at the InterContinental hotel in Washington, D.C.’s newly revitalized Wharf district alongside the Potomac River.

This year’s conference, with a theme of “Mastering Security With Intelligence,” saw the biggest turnout since RFUN began — over 400 attendees were joined by a cohort of Recorded Future staff to discuss the increasingly essential role that threat intelligence plays in any security program.

The two-day event saw talks from subject-matter experts, training sessions, and networking opportunities over abundant food and drink — including an exclusive evening at the National Air and Space Museum.


“The digital realm is becoming our reality,” said Christopher Ahlberg, Recorded Future’s CEO and co-founder, in his keynote address. “The need for effective cyber threat intelligence to defeat our adversaries is clearer than ever.”

Highlighting the idea that connecting everything also makes everything vulnerable to attack, Ahlberg explored the growing importance of quantifying cyber risk when making business decisions. Quoting Christopher Ambrose, the vice president of research at Gartner, he noted, “By 2022, cybersecurity ratings will become as important as credit ratings when assessing the risk of existing and new business relationships.”

Alexander Schlager, the head of Verizon’s Security Services product organization, came to similar conclusions in his address. “The security landscape is a battlefield, and the battle is intensifying,” he said, noting that organizations can successfully shift their security stance from reactive to proactive only by incorporating risk assessment — specifically, by effectively leveraging cyber threat intelligence — into the design, implementation, management, and adaptability of their security programs.

Speakers throughout the event touched on similar themes. Some focused on how vulnerabilities no longer just put our personal data at risk, but impact essential processes and infrastructure that affect our health and safety, highlighting the need for effective threat intelligence in the public sector. Geoff Brown, for example, shared his experiences as the CISO of New York City, where he oversees over one hundred departments and agencies and spearheads massive projects, like an effort to provide free Wi-Fi citywide.

Other talks looked at the criminal underground, noting shifting trends like how cybercriminals now leverage cryptocurrencies to perform financial transactions, adopting pricing and service models that resemble real businesses.

Some presenters looked more closely at how advanced tactics and technologies developed by nation-states are being increasingly re-employed by criminals and competing intelligence agencies with devastating purpose.


Throughout RFUN 2018, extensive training sessions were led by Recorded Future experts to ensure that attendees knew how to maximize their use of the threat intelligence they produce using Recorded Future, getting hands-on experience and learning about the latest features in the product.

Training session topics included tips on creating a bespoke daily intelligence digest using Recorded Future; best practices for threat hunting, vulnerability management, and alert cleanup; how to leverage Intelligence Cards™; tips on evaluating the threat intelligence you’re currently getting; how to produce effective intelligence reports; and much more.


RFUN attendees had a chance to interact with our valued technology partners at a lunch event at The Anthem, an exclusive music venue and auditorium on the D.C. waterfront. Our wide range of sponsors shows just how broadly Recorded Future integrates with other solutions — our partners specialize in TIPs, SIEMs, SOARs, incident response platforms, deep analysis, cybersecurity training and learning resources, industrial control systems, and more.

This year’s 14 sponsors were Cofense, EclecticIQ, ReversingLabs, LogRhythm, Farsight Security, Palo Alto Networks, TruStar, Verizon, Cybrary, DFLabs, King & Union, Dragos, ThreatConnect, and IBM Resilient.

The highlight of RFUN 2018 for many was the evening reception held at the National Air and Space Museum, where everyone had the chance to tour hundreds of the most significant objects in aviation and space history, representing some of humanity’s greatest achievements. A live band called Silver Arrow (headed by one of Recorded Future’s own) kicked off the night under the shadow of the Hubble Space Telescope, and guests were also treated to complimentary showings of “Dark Universe” in the Albert Einstein Planetarium.

Together with our sponsors, partners, and customers, we’re creating a community of defenders that’s transforming the way threat intelligence is used to outsmart our enemies.

If you’ve heard the buzz but are still unsure what Recorded Future is all about, learn more by requesting a demo.

See you at RFUN 2019!