SPARK USER SUMMIT Boston: December 19, 2019

December 19, 2019


Check back soon for more information about Spark User Summit Boston. At Spark Boston, you’ll network with fellow Palo Alto Networks users in the Boston area and hear the latest updates and threat research from Palo Alto Networks. 

Spark Boston will feature sessions to enhance your skills, including hands-on workshops and collaborative sessions so you will be able to take home actionable solutions and strategies for key security issues. 

Lunch and education sessions are provided free of charge. 


Apex Entertainment
21 Apex Dr.
Marlborough, MA 01752




8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.  Welcome and Overview

8:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.  Opening Keynote: Building a Zero Trust Model in the Cloud
Palo Alto Networks
Scott Stevens, SVP for Worldwide Systems Engineering, will kick off our morning with a vision of how security professionals can leverage the seamless fabric of Palo Alto Networks cybersecurity, and how to weave a mindset of Zero Trust throughout your organization.

The historical approach to business security has focused on defending a fixed perimeter. The objective was to keep threats on the outside of the perimeter of a wall around a castle. However, today the reality is that these same boundaries are harder to define and very porous. The assumption that systems and traffic within a cloud can be trusted is flawed because once a single workload is compromised, moving within a trusted zone is often easy. While it is often hard to directly attack high-value assets over the internet, using an indirect attack using systems inside the cloud is much simpler, although more time-consuming. The Zero Trust architecture is the foundation of the future of public cloud security. The ability to authenticate and secure communication without relying on the location of the endpoints or the security of the network means that our clients can adopt the cloud paradigm and embrace its benefits of cost and flexibility while maintaining control of their data and compliance in virtual environments. We'll explore how to apply elements of Zero Trust, prevention and security automation to enable enterprises, like yours, to accelerate innovation through the use of public cloud services and SaaS.

9:30 a.m. - 9:40 a.m.  Break

9:40 a.m. - 10:25 a.m. Customer Case Study: Protecting Key Enterprise Assets in a Cloud Environment

The biggest announcement at this year's Ignite '19 Conference was the launch of Prisma suite of services, focused on a holistic approach to cloud security. Hear from a customer that has invested in these technologies to implement an always-on security fabric to protect key company assets.

10:25 a.m. - 10:35 a.m. Break

10:35 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.  Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1: Enabling a More Simplified NGFW Cloud Deployment
Deploying any next-generation firewall in a public cloud environment is challenging, not because of the firewall itself but because of the public cloud networking services that practitioners must use. The job of understanding and problem-solving around cloud networking complexities to ensure a successfully configured and maintained firewall deployment is no small task. It’s a task that is definitely possible — though difficult — and it comes with performance, scale, and visibility tradeoffs that need to be considered closely. Through intelligent orchestration and control service, it's possible to simplify the deployment of Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Firewalls and eliminate those tradeoffs.

Breakout 2: Cortex, Demisto and XDR: Oh My!
Palo Alto Networks
The recent acquisition of Demisto by Palo Alto Networks has a lot of users excited about the possibilities SOAR can provide their organization, but also confused about how Demisto and Cortex XDR fit together. In this session, we'll review the key features of each service, discuss how they work together, and what these services mean for your current Palo Alto Networks deployment. We'll cover ways to get better, faster response to incidents, how playbooks work, and how you can potentially save your organization some money!

11:20 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.  Break

11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Fast and Furious - An Expert Competition
Get ready for a little friendly competition as we put our experts on the spot! Help us choose the questions you want answered, then hear our panel debate and discuss their best ideas. The most successful solution is the one that gets your vote!

Topics may include:

  • Centralized change management
  • Safe feature enablement
  • Choosing a public cloud

12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.  Lunch with Partners

12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.  Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1: Automate Everything: The Future of Security Automation
As the set of products needed to manage an organization's security becomes more and more diverse, a bigger skills gap continues to open. Teams can't hire or train fast enough to manage threats at a human speed anymore, which makes automation a critical consideration. In this session, we'll dig into the details of what you can do with your current resources to see your organization clearly, report more accurately, and react faster with less manual work.

Topics covered include:

  • Validating your visibility and proactive health checks
  • Identifying high-impact automation changes
  • Leveraging your existing tools within the firewall and cloud platforms
  • Making notifications actionable

Breakout 2: Protect Your Keys or Don’t Waste Your Time Encrypting Your Data
For over 2000 years, governments, armies, businesses and lovers have been encrypting messages.  For the same amount of time, the keys used to perform the encryption have been the weakest link in the chain. After 2000 years, technology has advanced such that the keys can be protected but many companies don’t understand how important it really is.  Mr. Beutlich will explain in an entertaining (and sometimes graphic) fashion why protecting the encryption key is more important than the encryption itself. 

1:30 p.m. - 1:40 p.m. Break 

1:40 p.m. - 2:25 p.m.  Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1: The Dark Side of the Web

Palo Alto Networks
Advanced malware is being used to compromise organizations around the globe with increasing sophistication, persistence, and evasive attack methods.

Join Palo Alto Networks’ threat preventions consulting engineer Erik Yunghans for a session that will take you straight to the heart of the underground.

This session will cover:

  • Analysis, creation, and delivery of a previously unknown threat
  • How current solutions for enterprise security fail, with key considerations on how to protect your organization.
  • How to combat malware threats now and in the future with a fundamentally different approach

Breakout 2: MineMeld, Getting Started
In this 45-minute talk, we will be presenting the steps necessary to build a MineMeld server through the creation of the first Miner-aggregator-output workflow.  Participants leave with the information necessary to start their journey using MineMeld as a tool to reduce their attack surface. 

2:25 p.m. - 2:35 p.m. Today's Threat Landscape
Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks
Close your day with a cybersecurity expert! Hear the Unit 42 team discuss the current threat landscape. This session will highlight several campaigns and review advances in malware, ransomware, and cyber threats, that adversaries are using to breach modern enterprise networks.

2:35 p.m. - 2:40 p.m.  Closing Comments: How to Leverage the Fuel Community to Become an Expert
Spark is only one day, but the Fuel User Group is available to you 365 days a year! Learn more about the year-round benefits of membership, how you can access our online activities, and how you can be a part of the local Fuel chapter.

*subject to change.