13 infosec & cybersecurity conferences to attend in 2018

By Pluralsight    |    January 23, 2018

2018 is going to be another milestone year for data breaches, and a lack of security know-how will really set your company back. In 2017 one-third of all CIOs admitted that security issues or concerns were responsible for the cancellation or halting of IT projects, while 82% of IT professionals reported a shortage of cybersecurity skills.

Bottom line: We can all do more when it comes to security. To avoid costly mistakes, security practices should be a top priority, and constantly evolve to handle increasingly sophisticated threats. With that in mind, here are the conferences security professionals should seriously consider attending this year.

Cyber Security for Critical Assets | March 6–8 - Houston, TX

Selling point: Extensive cybersecurity workshop and interactive panels focused on infrastructure.

CS4CA USA boasts a dynamic double-stream agenda led by experts, and will be full of opportunities to exercise old and new skills through an extensive cybersecurity workshop. You’ll also be able to participate in interactive panel debates and learn about the best of tomorrow’s technology, so expect to leave with plenty of actionable insights related to cybersecurity. Additionally, more global CS4CA summits are soon to come!

InfoSec World | March 19–21 - Lake Buena Vista, FL

Selling point: The only security conference to have a cybercrime-fighting electronic dog as a keynote speaker.

InfoSec World is full of networking events and targeted workshops to help you better manage today’s threats. There’s even a capture the flag tech challenge, where you’ll combine your knowledge and skills with other security professionals to try and complete the challenge.

Black Hat | August 4–9 - Las Vegas, NV 

Selling point: As a longstanding staple when it comes to security conferences, Black Hat is one of the events to attend. This conference offers up some of the most technical and current global infosec events out there.  

Black Hat’s conference is a must-attend every year, and gives you the chance to see how industry experts are “defining and defending tomorrow’s InfoSec landscape.” It’ll help you get clued in on everything from IoT to malware, and you’ll be able to hear from some of the best researchers and security experts in the biz.

BSides SF | April 15-16 - San Francisco

Selling point: An event put on entirely by volunteers from the security community. BSides claims to not have “attendees." Instead, everyone is considered a participant with something valuable to contribute.

BSides SF is one of many BSides events taking place across the world in 2018. Another USA favorite is BSides Las Vegas taking place in August. These two conferences are multi-day open forums for discussion and deep knowledge development. The theme of BSides SF this year is steampunk, so you’ll be sure to learn about new, advanced tools and tricks your security peers are using today.

RSA Conference | April 16–20, 2018 - San Francisco, CA

Selling point: Interaction with top security leaders and pioneers in formal and informal settings.

The RSA Conference will help you learn about new approaches to info security, and there are a variety of ways to use your time here, including keynotes, hands-on sessions and more casual gatherings with others in the security industry. The conference will discuss everything from cryptography to policy and government, and is sure to empower your team to adopt the best security practices this year.

INFILTRATE | April 26–27 - Miami, FL

Selling point: INFILTRATE focuses entirely on offensive security issues, and will feature groundbreaking researchers demonstrating techniques you can’t find anywhere else.

This conference “eschews policy and high-level presentations in favor just hard-core thought-provoking technical meat.” If you’re focused on the technical aspects of offensive security issues, it should be top of your conference list this year.

Source | May 7–10 - Boston, MA

Selling point: Part hacker conference. Part CISO conference. Part career and professional development conference.

Source is bringing business, technology and security professionals together in Boston to discuss some of the toughest security issues we’ll face in 2018. This conference also goes beyond Boston and hosts events in Dublin, Seattle, Phoenix and Austin.  

Enfuse | May 21–24 - Las Vegas, NV

Selling point: This event is big. Enfuse sees over 1500 attendees representing 48 countries. With 100+ sessions and 10+ tracks, there’s something here for everyone.

Enfuse is a very full three-day conference covering a range of cybersecurity, e-discovery, digital Forensics, endpoint investigation and information security topics. Because of the volume of attendees and the depth and breadth of topics, you’ll sure to discover someone or something new.

Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit | June 4–7 - Washington, D.C.

Selling point: Focus on how to avoid expensive security mistakes, and international locations. 

The Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit will help you learn how to maintain cost-effective security practices that support digital business, so you never have to fork out for costly last-minute risk mitigation. Other dates and locations include: July 24 in Tokyo, Japan; August 14 in São Paulo, Brazil; August 20 in Sydney, Australia; and October 17 in Dubai, U.A.E.

DEF CON | August 9–12 - Las Vegas, NV

Selling point: One of the oldest and largest hacker conventions around.

At DEF CON, you can have whatever kind of conference experience you want—all while learning about security and white hat hacking. Some attendees may spend the majority of the weekend playing capture the flag, and others may never touch a computer. You can go to all the sessions or none of the sessions, and can get involved in contests, movie marathons, scavenger hunts, lock picking, warez trading, parties and official music events. Sleep deprivation is common at DEF CON, so plan to drink a lot of coffee!

Pluralsight LIVE | August 28–30 - Salt Lake City, UT

Selling point: The unique opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the best and brightest minds in technology (and security). And the pre-sale is happening now.

We held our first-ever user conference last year, and we’re excited to return with even more in store. With insight from security thought leaders like Troy Hunt, Dale Meredith and other experts, you’re sure to leave LIVE with security strategies to take on the future. In addition to security deep dive sessions, you’ll get up close and personal with our author community and some of the most well-respected security pros in the industry. In 2018, expect another great lineup full of forward-thinking technology experts and inspiring speakers—stay tuned!

Grace Hopper Celebration | September 26–28 - Houston, TX

Selling point: The world’s largest gathering of women in tech.

If you’re a woman in tech, the Grace Hopper Celebration is for you. Produced by and presented in partnership with ACM, it’s the world’s largest gathering of women technologists, and will feature speakers such as Melinda Gates.

DerbyCon | October 5–7 - Louisville, KT

Selling point: A true community gathering of security pros of all ages and experience levels. A vast schedule of security sessions/topics means you’re sure to leave with valuable new insights.

Centrally located in Louisville, DerbyCon organizers say 50% of the United States can get to the conference in a day’s drive. With easy accessibility, this conference attracts a lot of security talent. Put on for security professionals, by security professionals, you’ll hear from your peer’s on the front lines of today’s security landscape.

So, where will security take you this year?

Carving out time to attend a conference can be a challenge, but hearing from leading security experts is a valuable investment in your team’s effectiveness and protecting your data. So check your calendar, clear your schedule and choose an event (or a few) that will make you better at what you do in 2018. Safe travels—and even safer data!

About the author

Pluralsight is the technology skills platform. We enable individuals and teams to grow their skills, accelerate their careers and create the future.