Cybersecurity podcast top picks

Staying up to date with the latest in cybersecurity news and trends can be a pretty time-consuming endeavor. As bad actors constantly seek out new ways to infiltrate systems, the rules of the game are always changing. Keeping ahead of the curve is a full-time job. For the most part, information and the biggest news items are covered across the web, in the tech press and white papers. But that can mean a lot of reading.

Fortunately, cybersecurity aficionados across the world just love to talk about it. Which means there are some incredibly useful and insightful podcasts out there for you to keep abridged of the latest developments without having to pore over multiple websites and sort the fact from the fiction yourself.

Here is a list of some of the top cybersecurity podcasts available at the moment.

Darknet Diaries

Darknet Diaries has been around since 2017, offering a realistic view of modern cyberthreats to both businesses and individuals. Created by cybersecurity expert Jack Rhysider, each episode focuses on "true stories from the dark side of the internet" that are genuinely relevant to everyday situations. They cover real-life scenarios and explore everyday risks, such as the vulnerabilities of IoT and the hazards of credit card security.

The stories in each episode are delivered with a journalistic narrative, often bringing in discussions with experts in the particular field being discussed, including threat actors themselves. This gives some interesting perspective from the other side of the story that offers up insights otherwise unattainable to cybersecurity experts. For the most part, Darknet Diaries is presented in a way that educates and entertains without getting too deep to become inaccessible, though there are moments where Rhysider delves a little deeper into the "geeky side" of the subject matter.

Generally, episodes are posted fortnightly and run around 60 minutes, so they're a little longer than some of the other options out there, but this does make them ideal for a road trip or a session at the gym. Darknet Diaries is available through YouTube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts, as well as several other podcast service providers, so it's pretty accessible for anyone.

Unsupervised Learning

A much more bite-sized option is Unsupervised Learning. Posted every Monday morning, Unsupervised Learning provides a concise roundup of the latest happenings in the world of cybersecurity over the last week.

The host — Daniel Miessler — is a foremost expert in the world of infosec, often speaking at industry conferences. He began Unsupervised Learning in 2015 to examine interesting cybersecurity topics, investigate intriguing stories and explore new ideas in the sector. Because of his broad-stroke interest in the subject matter and unquestionable authority in the realms of cybersecurity, Miessler's podcast is ideal for keeping your finger on the pulse of what's going on each week.

As each weekly episode is only up to around 20 minutes long, this one is a great way to start your week on the front foot, whether it's listening over your morning cup of coffee or during your Monday commute.

Smashing Security

For a lighter bit of podcast fun, Smashing Security is a great way to learn about some of the lesser-known and often obscure events that go on in the wider digital world. Despite some of the topics discussed being further reaching across any type of cybercrime, co-hosts Graham Cluley and Carole Theriault always manage to tie them back to security and the implications they might have.

As with the other podcasts listed here, the hosts are well experienced in the sector. Cluley wrote the very first "Dr. Solomon's Antivirus Toolkit" and Theriault also hosts Sophos' Naked Security, which is another excellent source of anti-virus news.

Smashing Security's weekly episodes are around 50 minutes long, but as they're more amusing than heavy they're easier to dip in and out of when it suits you.

The Social-Engineer Podcast

Behind every good security system (or hack or piece of malware, for that matter) is a human being. The Social-Engineer Podcast takes a fascinating alternative approach to cybersecurity, honing in specifically on the psychology of social engineering and how it can be used in various ways for various means.

Looking at social engineering from all perspectives, this podcast explores how it is applied by individuals and businesses alike to gain advantage in an increasingly digital world. These in depth studies take an almost scientific approach to examining the tactics used by hackers and marketers alike, aiming to provide insight into what it is about the human condition that makes us vulnerable to social engineering. Guests often include academics and reformed hackers, making it of interest to both cybersecurity professionals and members of the general public looking to stay safe in a digital world.

The Social-Engineer Podcast posts one 50 minute show per month, but with over 100 episodes published since it started in 2009, there is plenty to look back at.

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