This year, our Managed Security Services team heads to Seattle for BSides. In this short blog, our team shares their experiences from the annual, BSides Seattle Conference which took place on February 23, 2019.
BSides is a “community-driven framework for building events for and by information security community members. The goal is to expand the spectrum of conversation beyond the traditional confines of space and time. It creates opportunities for individuals to both presents and participates in an intimate atmosphere that encourages collaboration. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from participants. It is where conversations for the next-big-thing are happening.”
James Lee, Information Security Analyst, Team Lead shares his experience attending BSides for a second time.
My first-year attending was a great experience and this year follow up was no different. The event featured talks by respected individuals within the cybersecurity industry. These talks catered to pretty much every type of cybersecurity individual, so there was a little bit of something for everybody. These presentations ranged anywhere from demonstrating a live DDOS attack, to educating the audience on the inner workings of aircraft networks. Additionally, there were hands-on activities, such as the lockpicking village that was fun to partake in.
The most important take away from the conference was my ability to attend discussions that aligned directly with my work at Intrinium, and further intrigued me to think of things a little differently while also testing out some new tools. While there were a few talks that did not directly relate to my responsibilities at Intrinium, they were still very interesting subjects and I found them rather fascinating.
Overall, attending BSides Seattle the last two years was a wonderful experience and I look forward to continuing to expand my expand my knowledge at future conferences. The material presented in the talks are always beneficial, the food and drinks are delightful, and attendees have similar goals in wanting to help each other succeed no matter what area of cybersecurity you find yourself.
Samantha Agather, Information Security Analyst, discusses her first time at BSides Seattle:
As the first hacker security convention I’ve been to, it was more than I could have expected. Free food and booze drinks aside, the hands-on workshops and talks were stuffed full of more information than I’d tried to absorb since college.
The topics in the talks fascinated and inspired- from entropy and randomness to a live demonstration of Command and Control- and left me realizing that there’s always room to improve security defenses. And Social Engineering tactics; there was a hands-on workshop for picking locks, hacking hardware, and breaking ciphers. The lockpicking workshop was one of the favorites for me everyone there, and it cannot be confirmed nor denied that my online shopping list has a set of picks and locks on it.
Attending this conference has started a desire to go to more… to learn more, to hone skills and swap ideas. Someday, I hope to maybe even present some of my future findings to someone else who might find use out of it.
Erika Lien, Information Security Associate, shares her first time at BSides Seattle:
BSides was my first security conference. When we arrived, the first thing I noticed, besides the beautiful campus, was that people seemed genuinely excited to be there and excited to be a part of the conference! Once they started letting people in, you got to appreciate that you are surrounded by so many like-minded people. You hear all kinds of different conversations on just about all aspects of IT and IT Security.
The presentation covered a wide range of topics from securing personal data digitally to physical security. It was fascinating to get a glimpse of IT in other fields. The keynote speaker closing out the conference talked about the length airlines must go to to be secure which is something I haven’t thought about. That’s what BSides did for me. It got me thinking about the way we do things, ways to improve, and a few things to try. I think that is the best thing a conference can do! Get people interested, engaging, and asking questions.
It was an amazing and fun learning opportunity I got a lot of value out of it.