Beginners Guide: 5 Industry Events to Attend

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Aug 05, 2013 02:27 am PST

Last week BlackHat, Bsides and DEF CON saw the infosec industry invade Las Vegas as the conference season moves into full swing. Any aspiring security professional worth their salt should make a pilgrimage to a conference at least once a year. But for those only just starting out in the industry, knowing which conference to go to can be a confusing decision (though many infosec people would at this point shout ‘Go to all of them!’).

So whether you are curious about the big conference and exhibition events, or interested in the ever growing array of smaller, more intimate spin-offs; here is a list of the Big 5 infosec events we all try to go to.

RSA Conference

Born out of a forum for cryptographers to share their latest ideas on Internet security in 1991, (when mobile phones were large bricks, and sites dedicated to cat videos were a far off dream) RSA Conference has since spread across the globe. In February, the flagship event in San Francisco was attended by over 25,000 delegates. The list of past speakers is a who’s who of technology rock stars of the last 22 years and the closing keynotes comprise ex-Presidents, Prime Ministers and serious government officials. This year the Asia-Pacific Conference debuted at Marina Bay in Singapore and this October RSA Conference Europe is in Amsterdam. The session agenda and speakers have recently been released and include Hugh Thompson, Josh Corman, Thom Langford and Uri Rivner.

So if you fancy a trip to the next RSA Conference in Amsterdam from 29th – 31st October 2013, you can register today.

Infosecurity Europe Exhibition

Infosec in London is a barometer of the industry in Europe and one of those events that delegates attend to feel part of something bigger. Over 12,000 visitors meet 350 exhibitors who use the usual tactics to drag people onto their stand. From magicians to booth babes, popcorn machines to F1 cars, you are never far away from someone trying to swipe your delegate badge.

In the past, exhibitors have criticised the quality of delegates, but over the last 3 years the organisers have drastically improved the breadth of activity on offer and the educational programme. Following this year’s exhibition Paul Fisher asked Does Infosec Europe Matter Anymore? and the answer was yes.

With infosecurity events also in Belgium, The Netherlands and Russia you still have a chance of attending one this year, but you better hurry and get your travel booked!

25th – 27th September 2013, Crocus Expo, Moscow, Russia:

30th -31st October 2013, Jaarbeurs Utrecht, Netherlands:

Speakers at the London event include: Eugene Kaspersky, Brian Honan and Raj Samani.


Originally started by ‘The Dark Tangent’ in 1993, DEF CON is one of the oldest and largest hacker events in the world and the 21st annual gathering only finished yesterday in Las Vegas. Focused on technical know-how the event brings together hackers and law enforcement, although this year in light of the Prism scandal the law enforcers were publicly uninvited for fear of reprisals. With elaborately titled sessions, speakers focus on broad subject matter from civil liberties to building robots for world domination. So providing you don’t work for the NSA, you’re bound to have fun.

Look out for our blog post later this week on the highlights of DEF CON 21 last week. In the meantime, if you want to know more, Here has all the answers you need.


BlackHat also finished last week in Las Vegas and has grown in popularity since 1997 to become one of the premier infosec conference series in the world. BlackHat features the true warriors in the industry, yet it also provides a base for the community to meet up. It attracts some of the brightest minds in research, so if you’re looking to bump shoulders with thought leaders, in a highly technical conference event or receive training from some of the most respected names in infosec; then book now for next year, or pop down to the BlackHat Summit in Brazil on the 26th – 27th November.

The review board includes names like, Matt Devost, Jeremiah Grossman and Ping Look.

The strength of the infosec community was on display for all to see this year, with incredible tributes to Barnaby Jack, a true legend in the infosec world.


In response to a number of high quality speakers being rejected from the BlackHat conferences due to time constraints, B-sides was born! Describing its goal as expanding the spectrum of conversation beyond the traditional confines of space and time; B-sides events can be found in Australia, Brazil, South Africa, United Kingdom, Canada and its three flagship main events, Las Vegas last week, Boston and San Francisco. So have a search in your local area to find out when the next B-sides near you is happening!

Speakers at the Las Vegas event include Andrew Hay, Keli Hay & Javvad Malik

To describe what a B-sides event is like, I think it best to use their own words,

We are a do-acracy; in other words, if you want it, then you do to it or make it happen.  We do not have members, but rather participants.  You are the “we” and we can only be successful if you make that happen for yourself.

As a newbie to the infosec industry there are hundreds of opportunities to engage with the community at large. So whether it’s at huge established event or small niche meetings, get involved and find out what’s good for you, your interests and your career.

At infosec buzz, we will try to bring you first-hand experience from delegates at all infosec events. So if you fancy writing a guest blog, sharing truly great moments from a conference trip you’ve already taken or want to tell us about the good, bad and hilariously funny times in the company of fellow industry personnel, then please contact us.

About the Author:

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Ed Buzz | Information Security Buzz

Using my knowledge and expertise of working in the Information Security sector, I created Information Security Buzz. My panel and I continuously work on providing our readers with the latest and breaking news, alongside original content to get an independent view of the biggest issues in the industry.

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