Friday, January 30, 2015

But Jack, community and stuff…

A few folks have asked me about my roles on the advisory board for Intelligent Defence and as a judge for RSA’s new crowdsourced track.  I’m often thought of as “Mr. BSides”, which is unfair to a lot of people who do a lot more than I do to build and sustain the Security BSides movement and community, and unfair to the thousands of organizers, volunteers, speakers, sponsors, and participants who make BSides what it is.  This also overlooks the fact that I have long been engaged with a variety of groups and events, and I work in the security industry.

The short version of the story is this:

Two big events are listening to their attendees and responding to their audiences’ requests, and they asked me to be involved.  As someone who has pushed for better content, conversations, and community engagement in numerous events and organizations over the years I jumped at the opportunities;  I would have to be a much bigger hypocrite than I already am to decline the requests.

Of course I am watching to see if these new programs have any impact on the local security and hacker communities, but the nearby BSides San Francisco and BSides London events have a very different vibe from RSA and Infosecurity Europe, and other events such as 44Con are at other times of the year.  My hope is that the new programs will expand the much-needed conversations about information security and security research and help grow the security community, that’s why I’m involved.



Thursday, January 29, 2015

RSA Conference’s new crowdsourced submissions program

The US RSA Conference is adding something new for 2015, a crowdsourced submissions track.  RSA gets a stunning number of submissions each year, and it takes a long time to sort through them all- leading to a common grumble about the long lead time between submissions and the conference.  And as with almost any event, some question why certain talks were accepted over others.  RSA has been listening, and is trying this new crowdsourced track to address some of the feedback they have received.  You want a short leadtime for talks to allow for recent topics?  You want a say in some of the talks which get accepted?  The new track will add 12 sessions to answer these requests. 

The Call for Papers opened today, January 29, and will close on February 27 (less than two months before the event).  Given the size and scope of the RSA Conference, it is significant that they have taken this step.

I am excited to be one of the judges for this program, joining industry leaders Alex Hutton, Eve Maler, Jennifer Minella, and Rich Mogull.  Our role is to make sure the submissions follow the guidelines, aren’t sales pitches, and to filter out any “ballot stuffing” which might happen.  See the Crowdsourced Submissions FAQ for details.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Infosecurity Europe’s new “Intelligent Defence” conference

My friends over at Infosecurity Europe have been listening to their attendees- and that’s pretty cool.  From the Intelligent Defence site:

“Infosecurity Europe's meticulous research revealed that attendees of the Number 1 exhibition and conference in Europe require more in-depth, technical research sessions.”

The folks at Infosecurity listened, and then acted, creating this new conference which will run parallel with Infosecurity Europe.  Again from the Intelligent Defence site:

“Infosecurity Intelligent Defence 2015 is a two-day, technical security conference, focusing on the latest research into vulnerabilities and exploits and sharing insight into how to defend against them. The Conference provides a new and exciting platform for the latest technical research and defensive tools and techniques to be shared with the wider information security community.”

I am honored to be a member of the Advisory council for Intelligent Defence, along with industry luminaries Dr, Eric Cole, Rik Ferguson, Trey Ford, and James Lyne.

The call for papers for Intelligent Defence is open until Thursday, February 12, so act fast if you want to get in on the first year of this new event.

Note: yes, I know they spell “defence” (and a lot of other things) funny over there- like what’s with all the extra “u”s?  (I must now run and hide from my “proper” English speaking friends).



Friday, January 2, 2015

Update on Security BSides

Another year is gone, and it was a pretty amazing one for Security BSides.  It is hard to believe that this adventure began five and a half years ago, with the first event happening in July of 2009.  BSides has exploded since then, there have been a total of 167 BSides events globally- with 58 in 2014 alone.  BSides have now been held in 74 cites in 16 countries, on every continent except Antarctica.  2014 brought BSides to more than a dozen new cities across the world, including the first events in Asia.  Some of 2014’s new BSides cities included Dubai (UAE), Hyderabad (India), Singapore, Bogota (Colombia), Reykjav√≠k (Iceland), Hamburg (Germany), and many across the US.

Check out the “World of BSides” map showing all BSides cities:


There are already well over a dozen BSides events on the calendar for 2015, with many more in the planning stages.  The latest information on all BSides events can always be found on the BSides wiki.

BSides is a stunning success because of the huge community of organizers, volunteers, speakers, sponsors, and participants who have come together to make something amazing.  The “What BSides Means to Me” page on the wiki has some fantastic insights into what drives us to sustain and grow BSides, it is worth a read.