Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Digital security can sometimes feel like a minefield of jargon, technical content, and time consuming tasks. Online security courses and YouTube videos are a great way to learn more about the field, but it can be difficult to carve out the time to sit down and watch large chunks of content.
The answer to the conundrum is security podcasts. The podcast is currently experiencing something of a golden era, with shows for almost every interest and hobby readily available on a multitude of platforms. The best part? Most podcasts are completely free.
Being security-minded you may wonder why you should trust a completely free podcast. In a crowded and fast-paced industry, podcasts allow security researchers, analysts, and journalists to build a profile for themselves. For other hosts it allows them some time away from the intensity of the day job to indulge in their passion.
Fortunately for you, that means that there is a lot of truly excellent security-focused content out there, just waiting for you to receive it.
The Cyberwire Daily Podcast comes from the security analysts at Cyberwire. Hosted by their own Dave Bittner, a new 15 minute podcast is released every weekday covering the latest cybersecurity news. As an added bonus most episodes feature a short interview with industry experts on a broader security topic.
A reliable, daily podcast is invaluable when the latest inevitable cybersecurity epidemic hits — such was the case during the WannaCry outbreak. Mainstream media coverage of the outbreak was patchy and inaccurate at best. The Cyberwire daily shows are a great place to catch up on the latest news without having to battle through all the gossip, untruths, and inaccuracies.
Troy Hunt of Have I Been Pwned fame is a well respected and vocal security educator. He currently works as an independent security researcher after spending fourteen years at the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. Since mid-2016 Hunt has produced a weekly roundup blog post and YouTube video. The roundup is part personal blog, part security research and analysis.
Fortunately he took the decision to split the audio from the video and release a podcast of his weekly roundups. In the past it has given us a behind-the-scenes look at the operation of Have I Been Pwned. Hunt also tackles complex topics in an easy-to-understand manner that hits the sweet spot between technical content and simplicity.
You could have the most impressive digital security setup possible but as long as there is still some involvement from people, there is an exploit waiting to happen. Social Engineering combines technical know-how with human psychology to manipulate people into revealing confidential or personal information.
The team behind the monthly Social-Engineer Podcast literally wrote the book on the subject and use the show to take a comprehensive look at various aspects of social engineering. Their primary focus is how to protect yourself with the help of their knowledgeable guests. Oh, and you’d should be prepared for a lot of Bruce Hornsby as co-host Dave Kennedy has a habit of liberally sprinkling snippets across the podcast.
While it can often feel that with all the leaks and hacks, cybersecurity is the digital equivalent of putting out fires. Down the Security Rabbit Hole, with hosts Rafal Los and James Jardine, takes a more holistic and in depth view of cybersecurity during the weekly hour-long podcast.
The show alternates between dissecting the latest cybersecurity news, expert interviews, and industry analysis. Since its inception the pair have published 225 episodes to date, covering topics from machine learning, internet of Things security, and data breach ethics.
Many security blogs and podcasts take a more technical slant, focusing on how security events affect the industry. So, what about regular computer users? Fortunately the long-running Security Now! podcast takes a look at the latest security events and why they matter to us all.
The show is hosted by Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte, who also produces the podcast This Week In Tech (TWiT). Now in its eleventh year, the show has racked up 1,200 hours of free security content across more than six hundred 2-hour podcasts.
Bruce Schneier is one of the world’s most revered cryptography experts. During the downtime between his fellowship at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, writing for The Guardian, and working at IBM, Schneir regularly updates his own blog Schneier on Security.
The Crypto-Gram Security Podcast finds Dan Henage reading excerpts from Schneier’s monthly Crypto-Gram newsletter. The newsletter is a series of essays so the show is more akin to an audiobook than a podcast. Each episode grants you access to the writings of one of the most eminent cybersecurity experts all for the princely sum of precisely nothing.
Host Paul Asadoorian takes the lead in this weekly security round table discussion. With a rotating stable of regulars and special guests, the show takes a conversational approach to security podcasting. With such a large collection of speakers, the shows often extend beyond the two hour mark.
One of the biggest benefits of this approach is that the show gets a wide range of views around their table. Be warned though — this is a technical podcast. If you are relatively new to the world of security then it might be best to work your way up to Security Weekly.
Many security podcasts tackle the issues of cyber security, malware, and encryption. The Shared Security Podcast takes a different approach. Rather than looking at what may attack you, it dives into the areas you may have left vulnerable. This wide ranging podcast takes aim at information security, privacy, the internet of Things, social media, and mobile devices.
Hosts Scott Wright and Tom Eston previously worked together on The Social Media Security Podcast, before expanding on their original brief. As these are the technologies we interact with daily, this is the area of security that has the biggest impact on our lives.
The transparent nature of open source software makes it more secure than proprietary solutions. With anyone able to view the code, it can be inspected and pulled apart by anyone that so chooses. The open source operating system Linux is also the preferred platform for security experts the world over.
The Open Source Security Podcast tackles security challenges and issues through the prism of open source software. In a vast sea of security podcasts that focus on Microsoft and Apple products, it is a refreshing change to find a unique perspective.
Bonus: Reply All
Reply All finds hosts Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt taking a distinctly unique look at the internet. The show is brought to you by Gimlet Media, started by Alex Blumberg of This American Life fame. The podcast is ostensibly about technology, but with some journalistic skill it ventures into unexpected places.
Reply All is not a security podcast in the strictest sense. However, the show does often turn security related issues into fascinating narrative-based shows that aren’t entirely dissimilar to This American Life‘s affecting storytelling. Past episodes have explored Russia’s links to the online social network LiveJournal, how easy it is to be phished, and the art of obfuscation.
How Far Down the Security Rabbit Hole Will You Go?
This list features some of the best security podcasts, but it is only the tip of the iceberg. There are thousands of podcasts out there that can help you navigate the twists and turns of digital security.
If you find yourself becoming a podcast fan then you may want to explore other genres. There are podcasts to make you laugh, make you think, cause your spine to tingle, and even help you fall asleep. Are you ready to begin your aural adventure?
Which of these podcasts have you listened to? Are you excited to give any a try? Do you have any recommendations? Let us know in the comments below!