WOW! The Secure360 Conference was amazing this year! We know we say this every year, but we mean it every year; with the help of all our staff, volunteers, sponsors, speakers, vendors and attendees, every year just keeps getting better. Here are just a few of our favorite things from this week’s 10-year anniversary conference:
Our keynotes drew some serious crowds this year. Frank Abagnale, of “Catch Me If You Can” fame, kicked-off the conference on Tuesday with a talk that focused on how easy it is to have your identity stolen. A recap of the talk was featured on the front of the Star Tribune’s Business section and can be read online.
On Wednesday, Ed Skoudis, industry celeb and founder of CounterHack, got us ready for our final day by encouraging us to “hack everything.” His presentation gave examples of how everything—from Barbies to missiles—are being webify-ed and if you don’t hack your company (or your home, office, children’s toys, etc.), you won’t know how they are vulnerable. If you missed his keynote, you have to check out his cybersecurity project, CyberCity. It might just be the coolest cybersecurity project ever.
Not only did our 80+ speakers “wow” us with their speaking skills and expertise, they truly impressed us with their flexibility and generosity. If one speaker called in sick at the last minute, we had several others offer to speak so attendees were not disappointed. If there was a large group in their class, they were willing to repeat the session; if the group was small, they got on first-name basis with the attendees and gave one-on-one help. Thanks for being rock stars, speakers!
Sponsors and exhibitors
Whoever said the security industry is boring, never talked to our sponsors and exhibitors! Every one of the brand ambassadors at our sponsor and exhibitor booths had smiles on from beginning to end and were always willing to hand out some SWAG! Big thanks to all of you! You make our conference possible and help us create a fun learning environment.
We have to give extra kudos to our Diamond Sponsor, Check Point, for their awesome branding idea—their dozen or so brand ambassadors all wore hot pink shirts, which earned them their conference nickname, the Pink Brigade. One ambassador even wore a hot pink pantsuit! Of course, we also want to thank them for being an amazing sponsor that provided us with the ability to make our anniversary conference extra special.
Diamond Anniversary Reception
One of the things Check Point made possible was our Diamond Anniversary Reception on Tuesday evening. As Tuesday’s final sessions broke, attendees walked out to bars and cupcakes. One woman exclaimed what we were all thinking, “Red wine and chocolate?! Perfect end to the day!” And our attendees seriously know how to party; once the RiverCentre closed, people headed over to The Saint Paul Hotel for MN ISSA’s Afterhours party!
Secure360 Time Capsule
You never really know how far you have come until you take a look back. On Tuesday, we unveiled the Secure360 Time Capsule, which held programs and SWAG from each of the 10 conferences. We know the numbers and shared them with you in our 10-year anniversary infographic, but how much we have grown was never more apparent than when you looked at the time capsule. Our first program looked so thin sitting near the 2015 version!
And last, but not least – Attendees
We had a record-shattering 1,400+ people attending including volunteers, speakers, attendees, students, UMSA board members and exhibitors. You are the reason we put on this conference and this year and we are happy to support continued learning and education for the information security and risk management communities.
Start marking your calendars for next year! Secure360 2016 will be at the RiverCentre May 17-18, 2016 (preconference: May 16). And after the great turnout this year, you know you don’t want to miss next year’s event!