Based on your experience and knowledge, what would you say is the BEST Information Security event to attend and why?
Sir, because you are a great information security executive, we have decided to invite you to this greatest of events”
“Sir we know you deserve the best so you must attend this exclusive security Summit”
“Amar, join your colleagues and peers in the most exclusive information security gathering ever! Oh, there is free dinner and freebies too”
(for those who may not be aware, freebies in this context include an amazing array of mostly useless stuff like anger management squeeze balls, pens (yes hundreds and thousands of pens – I could even sell the readers some really cool pens! and etc)
I could go on and on and on but you get the point. There is a glut of information security, data privacy and risk events in London if not the whole of United Kingdom. In fact I would go so far as to say that is an epidemic of mostly inefficacious events in the information security industry. I’m unable to speak for the rest of the world so I do apologise to my international readers.
I know, many readers may be thinking, Amar, surely there is a lot to be learnt in these events! Surely there is exclusive information when the vendor or the event organisers insists upon it.
Before you label me a cynic Please hear me out.
I do believe that golden nuggets of information are abundant whenever you meet a group of intelligent people. There is the networking element too. I have met incredible people at security and data privacy events and they have turned out to be amongst some of my best friends and peers. But the question I am asked regularly and the question for this article is a superlative, “Which is the best information security event?”
Neither is this a swipe at any vendor out there. Vendors need to get Face time (not Apple’s FaceTime) with as many existing and potential clients and an event, any event allows the vendor to (1) establish themselves as a long term player and (2) market their wares.
The Best Event? This brings me to an event I attended yesterday. The IT Security Analyst and CISO Forum is an event arranged by Eskenzi. A very simple concept actually. A group of like-minded people, CISOs in this case, sit on one side of the table and a group of analysts sit on the other side and talk. I assure you this event continues to deliver more value to me than most others. where people including myself stand up on the stage and preach the word of information security.
So, why do I find this this CISO event useful why do I call it the best event? Because everyone, who is at the top of their game, gets a chance to take part, to share their experience.
The Best Type of Event.: The IT Security Analyst and CISO Forum is not the ONLY event out there. My point is they have got the balance right. I still picked up some freebies (got to keep friends and family something for Christmas and Diwali)
The event was what is often called a round table event. So, next time you look for an event to attend, seek out small, equal opportunity based Roundtable-based events that are bit more intimate, that allow an open discussion and that allow you to speak and take part and share your experience and learn from the experience of others.
I repeat I am not rubbishing any other event and as I’ve said before, I have made some great friends and picked up some of the best nuggets of information from attending regular information security events. But most of these events do not fit into the “best” category
Amar Singh, Information Security GRC Expert, @amisecured
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