7 Must-attend Security Conferences of 2017


As technology users and professionals, we’re always learning. Our universal interest in advancing our knowledge of the trade is unmatched by most industries. It’s a curiosity that makes sense, given the climate of change. Within that, there lies a rapid onslaught of new security and privacy risks looming over our databases and systems each and every day.

Once we figure out a risk and how to protect against it, we have barely enough time to stand up and stretch before we have to return to the drawing board, evaluating the next threat heading our way.

One of the best ways to prepare your company against security risks is to attend sessions and conferences built for continuing education around this topic. Mingling with other experts in the field who are experiencing the same problems helps us feel less alone in this battle for continued security. While networking allows for the opportunity to talk shop and share insight, the sessions and classes provided at these events can open our minds to new tactics and advanced protocols.

This year, as data protection and security remains a topic of interest, check out the following conferences:

1. RSA Conference 2017 | February 13-17, 2017
If you don’t have your tickets yet, it may be a little late to attend the U.S. conference next week. But don’t worry—there will be three other 2017 conferences by RSA located in London, Asia, and Abu Dhabi. While it may be tough for your company to spring for travel to those locations, it’s a conference worth attending. (Luckily for those who can’t attend, RSA releases regular information on updates in the security world. On their website you’ll find webinars, blogs, and newsletters.)

If you are able to attend an RSA Conference, you can look forward to lively and interesting discussion about changes in technology and what they mean for security. Last year, for example, panels discussed whether Apple should let the FBI unlock a terrorist’s iPhone. As a leading conference in dissecting topics of the day and how technology users and workers should adapt their security techniques, RSA prompts attendees with subject matter that really makes you think. 

Some Experts Exchange employees will be attending this conference next week. If you’re attending, be sure to look for them on the expo floor.

2. Black Hat 2017 | July 22-27, 2017
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Black Hat conference. As one of the leading conferences for exposing vulnerabilities, its informative sessions and training never fails to deliver. Not only is it full of opportunities to learn alongside—and from—15,000 attendees, but it’s a lot of fun. Many pranks occur and sometimes hacking is involved to teach attendees that they need to better secure their computers and devices—especially among highly capable, like-minded individuals.

3. InfoSec World | April 3-5, 2017
For a big-picture look at today’s largest security issues and how to protect against them, a great place to start is InfoSec World. As one of the largest, global conferences on the topic, sessions focus on real-world problems without the muddiness of a sales pitch. Well-known experts line the panels to review solutions, discuss strategies for implementing new initiatives, and promote idea sharing among attendees. 

At InfoSec World you can even customize your experience. With seven agenda tracks, this conference provides value for attendees, no matter their role or level of responsibility. 

4. The SANS Institute: Pen Test Austin 2017 | March 27- April 1, 2017
Learning about data security and protection is a great first step, but successfully warding off threats takes more than awareness. You need to develop actionable skills to safeguard against well-known and upcoming risks as well as how-to processes for cleaning up systems should the unthinkable happen and a threat penetrates your environment.

All of the SANS Institute events place attendees in classroom settings with step-by-step instruction from hands-on leaders. The Institute focuses on cooperative research and administration. Time spent at Pen Test Austin will be well worth it, as you learn ethical hacking skills for evaluating the holes in your system and new protocols for penetrations tests. These tricks of the trade can be applied as soon as you return to the office. The great perk about SANS Institute conferences? They’re located all over the U.S., with specific training variations. Check out their options here

5. HPE Protect 2017 | September 11-13, 2017
Sometimes to truly understand how new hacking technology is developed and why, you have to step outside or your role of protector and into the shoes of those creating the threat. Similar to techniques used by law enforcement officials to understand perpetrators’ lives and motivations in order to stop crimes from happening, this process can help you stay informed.

At HPE Protect 2017, that’s exactly what you learn to do. Last year, more than 2,000 security professionals attended the event to explore how to boost security and manage risk. 

6. IEEE CSCloud 2017 | June 26-28, 2017
Cloud platforms and their security has been a rising concern in recent years. Companies find themselves leery that third-party systems are capable of keeping their documents and servers safe on the cloud, while cloud platform providers wonder if their clients keep internal access points at a minimum to keep risk low.

Experts at IEEE CSCloud 2017 will explore advancements and changes in web security and cyber security, from corporate tools to mobile access and consumer apps. This conference is useful for those whose companies operate heavily in the cloud. 

7. IoT Security Summit | October 24-25 2017
Alexa, Siri, OK Google. Our days are bombarded with AI interaction in the Internet of Things (IoT). This year’s IoT Security Summit will feature leading companies and experts in the industry to discover what updates are coming and how businesses and consumers can protect their information when technology is always listening.

Local Opportunities
To attend conferences for work, you need approval for the cost of the event as well as the cost of travel. If this is an issue for your company, stay on the lookout for local networking opportunities and discussion groups built around this topic. Chances are, if you’re in an area with a large innovation district or prevalent tech industry, these opportunities pop up more often than you think. Meeting local contacts and forming relationships with others in your field is a great way to develop your understanding of how other companies are approaching the same security issues you’re facing.

If you’re already planning on attending one of these conferences, let me know in the comments below. Are there any conferences you’re looking to attend that I didn’t mention?

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