Conference Diary – Chicago 2015

Day 1 – Morning – The ISSA International conference kicked off with a fantastic keynote speech by Vint Cerf ending with his current focus of intergalactic communication “How to send data packets to space and back”… I guess that there is plenty more to come from Prof. Cerf. An amazing person and the applause he received suggested that the room agreed.

Next there was an insightful CISO panel: Microsoft, Oracle, Harland Clarke Holdings Corp, Trek Bicycle Corporation and Texas gov. My favourite discussion topic was “How to advance the culture of security in your company from the corner office and beyond“. Great contributions from all panel members.

I found myself wondering through a few of the “tracks” for the day. Started listening to Moshe Panzer who talked about SAP Security and other ERP system weaknesses while articulating the need to secure this environment and the challenges that come with this type of tech. The talk was presented with practical and technical explanations on what the real world challenges are and what his business does in that realm.

Naturally afterwards I gravitated into the Incident Response (IR) track as it’s a focus area of mine. The talks were phenomenal, “Preparing for the Big One” and “How to Accomplish Breach Response Readiness” were particularly memorable.

Evening – We went to 360 Chicago – a night out at the John Hancock building. Some amazing views of Chicago City and surrounding area with the bonus of being tilted downwards! BOMGAR sponsored an excellent light buffet and a lot of networking opportunities with the several hundred attendees. Check out the pics, you might even spot me there…

Day 2 – Morning – Started with yet another high profile keynote speech, this time from Dan Geer, who received a rapturous applause.

I attended a couple of IR sessions related to ISSA’s initiative around Cyber Security Career LifeCycle (CSCL). A huge amount of effort had gone into the CSCL space over the days and the leadership summit. To consolidate the topic, ISSA CSCL consists of 5 main stages in the career cycle of an IT security professional: i) Pre-Professionals ii) Entry-Level iii) Mid-Career iv) Senior Level v) Senior Leader. If you would like to get involved with this initiative, please do get in touch.

In addition to all the talks and sessions being held we also had a hall which hosted our sponsors. Familiar faces from our UK sponsors include Vanefi among others.

Overall it was a very educating experience and a fantastic opportunity for me to meet our US counterparts in person.