Cybercrime is constantly evolving, and staying informed and updated on the latest trends and technologies is crucial for companies to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape. Attending cybersecurity-focused conferences can be an excellent way to stay informed on the latest industry trends and network with experts in the field. By exhibiting at such conferences, you can showcase your company’s expertise and gain valuable exposure to potential clients and partners, which can ultimately help you to protect your business from cyber threats.
I’ll begin with a quick disclaimer. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of cybersecurity related events around the world every year. These include everything from multi-national events spanning several days to regional and local meetups lasting an hour. When looking at any event you should always consider what the goal is? Are you looking to generate leads? Network? Recruit? Launch a new product or service? Meet with press and analysts? Not all shows are created equal, and just because a conference has a massive following doesn’t mean it will be a great fit.
That being said, here are 5 of the top cybersecurity conferences in the United States with some recommendations on who should attend and why.
RSA Conference | https://www.rsaconference.com/usa | April
The RSA Conference is one of the most significant and well-known cybersecurity conferences in the world, held annually in San Francisco. It attracts thousands of professionals from various industries, including government, healthcare, finance, and technology. This multi-day conference features keynote speakers, hands-on sessions, and networking events.
Why Attend RSA Conference?
RSA Conference is an excellent platform for cybersecurity companies to showcase their latest products and services (but the news cycle is highly competitive, so bring your A game). It allows them to connect with potential clients and partners and build valuable relationships. Attending the conference also enables companies to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and gain insights into the current cybersecurity landscape. It’s also a Mecca for press and analysts, so if you’re looking to engage with that ever-elusive journalist or analyst, this could be the time for a face-to-face.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to enter the prestigious Cyber Defense Magazine Global InfoSec Awards, which are handed out during the show.
Black Hat USA | https://www.blackhat.com/us-23/ | August
Black Hat USA is a leading information security event that brings together top security researchers, practitioners, and experts from around the world. It’s a conference focused on the latest trends and developments in cybersecurity and features cutting-edge research, keynotes, and hands-on training sessions. Black Hat USA is an excellent opportunity for professionals to learn about new security threats and vulnerabilities, explore the latest security technologies and techniques, and network with like-minded professionals in the industry.
Why Attend Black Hat USA?
Black Hat USA is an excellent conference for anyone interested in the field of cybersecurity, but it leans toward the technical and research side of the house. The conference offers a variety of training sessions, including hands-on labs and workshops, which can help attendees develop practical skills and gain valuable experience. It offers a good mix of marketers, leaders, and practitioners.
DEF CON | https://defcon.org/index.html | August
DEF CON is one of the world’s largest and most well-known hacker conventions. The annual event regularly attracts thousands of attendees, including security researchers, hackers, and government officials. The conference offers a wide range of activities, including presentations, workshops, competitions, and networking opportunities.
Why Attend DEF CON?
Unlike the previously mentioned conferences, DEF CON is a less formal and less corporate event. The talent here is off the charts. If you’re looking to recruit security analysts or engineers, this is the spot. Consider it the Comic-Con of security conferences. It’s organized by volunteers and has a reputation for being a more “grassroots” conference. This gives attendees a chance to engage with a wider range of people and ideas, and to participate in a more open and collaborative environment. Another key difference is the more ‘hands-on’ approach the conference takes. DEF CON is known for its competitions and challenges, which frequently offer attendees a chance to test their skills and compete against other hackers.
ShmooCon | https://www.shmoocon.org/ | January
If DEF CON is the West Coast hacker conference then ShmooCon is its East Coast equivalent… kind of. ShmooCon is an annual hacker conference (held in Washington D.C.) that is organized by Shmoo Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness and knowledge in the field of computer security. And, because the conference is organized by a non-profit organization, much of the focus is on knowledge sharing rather than corporate interests, making it a valuable and authentic experience for attendees.
Why Attend ShmooCon?
One of the primary reasons to attend ShmooCon is to gain insights into the latest security threats and vulnerabilities. The conference features presentations and workshops that cover a wide range of topics, including network security, cryptography, and privacy. Like most cybersecurity conferences, it attracts a diverse group of professionals from around the world, including researchers, practitioners, and government officials, so it can be an excellent place to network. ShmooCon tends to be a bit ‘wackier’ than your normal conference and is known for its unique and engaging events, such as the ShmooBall game and the Lockpick Village. These events can be a fun and engaging way to learn new skills and connect with other attendees.
Cyber Security Summit Series | https://cybersecuritysummit.com/ | All Year
The Cyber Security Summit series is not a single event, but rather a series of regional conferences that focus on the latest trends and best practices in cybersecurity. It’s a great option for smaller cybersecurity companies and startups looking to connect with others in their region. Similar to the other events listed, each Summit offers a wide range of topics and presentations, covering everything from the latest cybersecurity trends and threats to emerging technologies, best practices in risk management and compliance, and strategies for protecting critical infrastructure and sensitive data.
Why Attend Cyber Security Summit?
Because these events are often much smaller and more targeted to specific geographical locations, they are an excellent place for companies looking to connect with other individuals and businesses in their area that may be facing similar challenges. Also, because they are held at different times and locations throughout the year, they often provide better insight into emerging technologies and best practices in cybersecurity.
Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list, and there are many conferences that target specific industries. That being said, anyone interested in cybersecurity, including security professionals, researchers, hackers, government agencies, and business leaders, should at a minimum be aware of these events (and if you need more ideas, have a chat with Voxus).
Attending and participating in cybersecurity conferences can be a great way to stay informed about the latest cybersecurity trends and technologies, connect with peers and experts, discover new products and services, enhance professional development, and gain insights into industry regulations and compliance.