Cybersecurity professionals began 2022 just like we started 2021, with many unknowns and travel disruptions. Events are once again being rescheduled, shifted to hybrid and online formats, or canceled. We must accept constant change, even as we plan our 2022 conference calendar.
In 2022 I plan to do the things I need to do to contribute to making the world safer online and helping organizations protect and defend against continuous cyber attacks.
Attending conferences, where we can listen to amazing speakers and security researchers, is part of continuous learning. During the pandemic, I have missed in-person events—they were a way to meet with so many amazing, talented industry experts and share experiences while enjoying a good chat and laughing together. It’s those moments that help all of us through the tough times working in cybersecurity.
With the hope that we can continue to attend events in 2022—whether in person or online—we must continue to plan. Yes, the event experience will be different in 2022 from what we experienced before COVID, but these opportunities for collaboration and sharing knowledge are vital to cybersecurity success.
Learning to be Social Again and Discovering New Forms of Greetings
As I've recently been getting back to in-person conferences (some, but nowhere near previous years), one new norm I've discovered is that the traditional greetings have changed from a hug or handshake to elbow tapping, fist bumps, foot taps, or the simple head nod from a safe distance. It’s been kind of weird. Learning to identify the right greeting has been interesting. I’ve found myself sometimes putting my hand out to shake the person’s hand and holding their fist instead, which, in all honesty, is an interesting way to say hello to someone.
We must rediscover how to be social and respect the new human perimeter. That means checking to see what the other person’s safe zone is. I call this the “red light, yellow light, and green light” social challenge.
It would be great if conferences would introduce a way of indicating what the new safe human perimeter is, perhaps by adding something like a ribbon for vendors, speakers, attendees, and media—different colors or labels would identify what greetings are acceptable to different individuals, let’s say:
- Red Light – Stay a safe distance, don’t invade my space
- Yellow Light – Fist bumps, elbow taps, or foot taps are welcome
- Green Light – I’m back and handshakes are good
As we get back to society, let’s respect each other's boundaries and rediscover old greetings along with the new. It’s important to stay safe and healthy, and, at the same time, ensure we aren’t pushing on “unauthorized access.” That said, let's dive into . . .
The 6 Top Cybersecurity Conferences for 2022
As a person who has attended around 40 to 60 conferences and events each year, I thought I would put together a list of some of my top-recommended cybersecurity events you should have on your must-attend list.
Location: Berlin, Germany
Dates: May 10 – 13, 2022
Format: Hybrid Event
Location: Prague, Czech Republic (Czechia)
Dates: May 25 – 26, 2022
Format: In-Person with additional virtual pass option
Location: San Francisco, USA
Dates: June 6– 9, 2022
Format: In-Person and Digital Pass
If you attend RSA do make sure to come and join me for my session:
Zero to Full Domain Administrator: Real-World Ransomware Incident
Following in the footsteps of an attacker and uncovering their digital footprints, this session will show attendees the attacker’s techniques used and how they went from zero to full domain admin compromise, which resulted in a nasty ransomware incident.
Location: London, UK
Dates: June 21 – 23, 2022
Format: Hybrid Event
5 | Blackhat and Defcon (2 cons in 1 go)
Location: Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, USA
Dates: August 6th – 11th, 2022
Format: In-Person plus virtual
Location: Las Vegas, USA
Dates: August 11 – 14, 2022
Location: Las Vegas, USA
Dates: October 10 – 12, 2022
Notable conference mentions from me and my peers:
- Sum of All Fears - 27 Jan - Nordic IT Security – Stockholm, Sweden
- Kernelcon – 30 Mar – 2 April - Omaha, Nebraska, USA
- Wild West Hackin Fest – 3 – 6 May - San Diego, USA
- AusCert 2022 – 10 – 13 May - Gold Coast, Australia
- CyCon – 31 May – 3 June - Tallinn, Estonia
- GrrCon – 13 – 14 October - Grand Rapids Michigan, USA
- Security BSides – All Around the World
If you have recommendations for other top security conferences, please add them to the comments as we would love to hear about other awesome conferences around the world.
My Top Tips to Survive Conference Travel in 2022
There are several tips for those attending any cybersecurity conference in person. They’ll help you stay safe and reduce the risk of becoming compromised. I follow these practices on my frequent travels.
Here’s a helpful list to keep in mind:
- Many restrictions are in place due to COVID-19. Check and double-check before you go to make sure you are up to date on mandatory requirements.
- Check which documents you need for travel, including transit countries, as you might need to complete traveler locator forms.
- Keep extra masks at hand as you never know when you might need them.
- Check your passport or travel document expiration dates as it might have been a while since you last used them
- Keep valuables in your hotel room locked in your suitcase or hotel safe.
- Update, patch, and back up your devices before you leave home.
- Power off any devices that you aren’t using.
- Leave sensitive data at home.
- Keep your contactless cards in an RFID-protected wallet.
- Always assume someone is watching and monitoring you—you're going to be caught on camera and tracked, so accept it.
- Avoid Public WIFI and use mobile data always with a VPN.
Call for Speakers and Speaker Mentoring
Also, if you're looking to speak at any of these events, submit your ideas and session suggestions as many of them offer call for papers or speakers. It’s always great to hear new ideas and experiences to share with the world.
If you’re interested in me mentoring you, please feel free to reach out and contact me.
This is written by the individual author in his/her personal capacity, and the opinions, views and/or thoughts expressed herein are solely the author’s own. They are not intended to and may not necessarily reflect the official policy or position, or the opinions or views of ThycoticCentrify or its affiliates, employees, or any other group or individual.