Cybersecurity Conference Season Starts Soon in Las Vegas


By James Lint , Senior Editor for InCyberDefense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

The cybersecurity conference season is just a couple of months away. Soon, your organization’s cyber professionals will head for Las Vegas, the nation’s epicenter for these technology events, to improve their skills and experience the latest in state-of-the-art cyber defenses.

Four of the most interesting conferences will take place between August and September. These conferences are Black Hat, BSides Las Vegas, DEFCON 26 and Global Security Exchange (formerly known as ASIS).

Black Hat USA – August 4-9

The Black Hat USA conference, now in its 21st year, features recent research, development and trends. Black Hat is often the show where some of the most controversial vulnerability research in the field of information technology is unveiled.

Four days of training are followed by a two-day conference with briefings that are often newsworthy. This conference brings together industry and federal employees.

Black Hat’s environment is professional with many corporations paying for attendees. It is also a great networking event for high-level cybersecurity employees.

BSides Las Vegas Conference – August 7-8

BSides is 10 years old this year. Over the past decade, this Las Vegas conference has become a movement to increase information security awareness with low-to-no-cost education. The conference now has over 300 events in 100 cities in 26 countries.

The goal is to initiate conversations and foster community and collaboration on information security. BSides also has a complete track on employment – including getting a job and practice interviews with hiring managers. Many leading cyber companies are present, including companies that survive on cyber defense, such as Amazon.

DEFCON26 Conference – August 9-12

DEFCON began in 1993 as a party of hackers and soon grew into a conference. DEFCON attendees rarely wear suits or ties; shorts are seen much more often.

The crowd ranges from people new to hacking or security research to professionals with beards older than DEFCON’s younger members. The conference features interesting thought leadership and future security research.

Global Security Exchange – September 23-27

The American Society for Industrial Security’s annual seminar and exhibits changed its name this year to Global Security Exchange (GSX). This conference moves to different locations each year, but it will be held in Las Vegas this year. GSX will be in the same format as in the past with security education programs and an exhibit area.

Also, InfraGard will hold its annual event during the GSX conference. InfraGard, a partnership between the FBI and the private sector, informs vetted members of the industry on topics that affect American business.

Commonality and Innovation of the Conferences

All of these conferences have a similar format regarding education and exhibits. There is a charge for some classes, but not at BSides and InfraGard.

The exhibits give attendees a chance to view a vast number of products as well as many hands-on opportunities to explore capabilities. Many times, industry exhibitors will showcase a new product or upgrade, which gives security professionals an opportunity to see new products and make suggestions to manufacturers. These suggestions often turn up in the following year’s innovation displays.