The Best Information Security Event Is Defined By Your Goals

Based on your experience and knowledge, what would you say is the BEST Information Security event to attend and why?

This is kind of like asking which book in the library is the best. The answer is, it depends. The best information security event to attend depends upon what your goals are for attending an event.  Do you want to sell something? Buy something? Learn something technical? Learn something about managing an information security program? Do hands-on activities? Explore emerging trends/issues?  Work on creating solutions at the event?  Get information from vendors?  See new products and services demoed? Not have to deal with vendors? Network with others who do your same type of work? Meet others who are in positions you’d like to fill some day? Find a new job?  Your goals for attending an event determine the best event for you to choose.

With that in mind, here are a few of the best events I’ve attended:

– COSAC International Computer Security Symposium  There are no vendor booths at this conference (last I knew). It is held in Ireland. Those speaking have many years of experience, are from all over the world, and they address some cutting edge and emerging issues. They also have a fabulous venue and lots of great food (and drinks).

– NIST workshops. These are typically free to attend, and cover a wide range of issues that are of concern to the government. You often get great access to government officials, workers and decision makers in addition to a wide range of academicians, inventors, engineers, and also assorted civil rights groups. No vendor displays. Typically focused on trying to explore and potentially, or eventually, solve new and emerging problems and challenges. Usually these events are located in Gaithersburg, MD, on the NIST campus, but they also are elsewhere. It depends upon the event.

– ISACA events.  I’ve been a member for a couple of decades. Their conferences, seminars, webinars and classes cover the gamut of all things about information security, and increasingly more privacy.

– SecureWorld Expos are regional events held throughout the U.S. throughout each year. They cover a wide range of topics for beginners to highly experienced. They bring in some well-known keynotes, and since they hold 14 conferences throughout the year in different locations you can usually find a conference within driving range.

There are many more information security events that I have not attended than those I have, that I would have liked to attend.  So I’m sure I’m missing out one some pretty great events.  I’m personally excited to be going global this year with regard to conferences, and will be giving the keynote at an information security conference in Bogotá, Colombia ( in June, and a keynote in Melbourne, Australia (, in October. If you’ll be there, let me know!

Rebecca Herold | The Privacy Professor | @PrivacyProf

To find out more about our panel members visit the biographies page.

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