Are you wondering which Cyber Security Conferences you should attend in 2023? With many options throughout the year, many cyber security professionals usually choose between one or two cyber security events. In this article, we’ll highlight the most popular cyber security conferences helping you decide which one to attend.
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Should I Attend a Cyber Security Conference?
There’s something about all of the sights and sounds for exciting in-person cyber security conferences. With the recent shift to a virtual platform, I definitely miss these opportunities and look forward to the next round of cyber security conferences.
Prior to the pandemic, these events hosted thousands of cybersecurity professionals around the world. As an attendee, you get access to keynotes delivered by well-recognized speakers, a variety of talks involving the latest cybersecurity trends, and numerous vendors showcasing their products and services.
If that is not enough, there is free food, lots of swag, and many incredible networking opportunities across the cybersecurity industry. Also, not to mention that many employers pay for the entire trip including travel and per diem. Sign me up please!
So should you attend a cyber security conference? Yes absolutely, especially if you have not experienced one before. You’ll get to learn about the latest cybersecurity trends and have an opportunity to network with many aspiring and seasoned cybersecurity professionals like yourself. The experience will also help you reflect on your current role, generate new ideas, and expand your mindset about cybersecurity.
RSA Conference 2023 USA
RSA is arguably the most popular cybersecurity event that kicks off the season of cyber security conferences. For over 31 years, RSA has delivered a premier cybersecurity event that attracts thousands of cybersecurity professionals; approximately over 26,000 people attended in 2022. This is by far the largest and most well-known cybersecurity event each year.
If you want to network or learn more about the latest cybersecurity products and services, you can expect that all of the regular cybersecurity vendors will have a presence on the expo floor. Take a look at some of the RSA Conference 2022 USA videos on-demand to understand what to expect in 2023.
- Where: Moscone Center @ San Francisco, CA
- When: April 24 – 27
- How Much: $2,045 Full Pass, $295 Expo Plus, $50 Expo, and $495 On-Demand
AWS re:Inforce 2023
If you’re interested in a dedicated cybersecurity conference about everything Amazon Web Services, AWS re:Inforce makes a great choice for you. Amazon usually puts on a good show and this event attracts about 6,000-8,000 cybersecurity professionals each year. In true Amazon fashion, this is a well organized event and worth attending in-person.
Started in 2019, Amazon recognized the value of offering deep dive sessions into the latest security best practices and risk management approaches utilizing AWS services. In addition to learning about current AWS services, Amazon also uses the event to share announcements on new features providing a boost to AWS security while minimizing risks.
Take a look at the official recap of AWS re:Inforce 2022 with all of the announcements, keynotes, and breakout sessions.
- Where: Anaheim Convention Center @ Anaheim, CA
- When: June 13 – 14
- How Much: $1,099
Black Hat USA 2023
Black Hat USA is one of my personal favorites. Going on the 26th year, Black Hat USA returns at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. An annual summer tradition with numerous after parties in Sin City attracts more than 21,000 attendees.
Black Hat USA started in 1997 by Jeff Moss, the same founder of DEF CON. In an effort to connect engineers with computer security experts, Jeff created Black Hat, which is viewed as a more formal cyber security conference when compared to DEF CON. Interestingly enough, many attendees often attend both conferences back to back starting with Black Hat.
Black Hat consists of three main components: Briefings, Training, and Arsenal. Briefings are comprised of keynotes and various talks in across many different tracks. Training is made up of formal training delivered by cyber security vendors. Lastly, the Arsenal is synonymous with a traditional expo, but Black Hat is focused on giving researchers a platform to showcase their open source tools.
As you’ve probably heard, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. This event combines several factors making it one of the best cyber security events to attend each year. It blends the very best keynotes and talks, bringing together cybersecurity experts across the industry, and is hosted in Las Vegas. There is also no shortage of after parties, which creates many networking opportunities in a variety of social settings.
- Where: Mandalay Bay Convention Center @ Las Vegas, NV
- When: August 5 – 10 (main conference is usually the last 2 days)
- How Much: $2,495 Full Pass, $1,295 Virtual
DEF CON 31 in 2023
DEF CON is the original hacker convention hosted in Las Vegas since 1993. Following Black Hat USA each year, many diehard DEF CON fans attend (around 30,000 attendees) to participate in the various contests like Capture The Flag (CTF), lock picking, and other hacking competitions. This is a one of a kind event making it stand out amongst of all the cyber security conferences.
Those familiar with DEF CON know the unofficial rules of the hacker convention … Rule #1 Don’t get “Pwned”! In other words, don’t get hacked or owned by anyone there. Remember this is a dedicated hacking convention where many treat it like a virtual playground to test their hacking skills for notoriety.
There are countless stories and rumors of strange things happening such as compromised phones, use of ATM skimmers, insecure wifi networks, and distribution of USB thumb drives filled with malware, just to name a few. Many opt to bring burner phones to this event (yes, seriously).
If all of this piques your interest, you may want to consider this cult favorite cyber security event. Take a look at all of the fanfare from DEF CON 30 in 2022 to get an idea of what to expect.
- Where: Caesars Forum @ Las Vegas, NV
- When: August 10 – 13
- How Much: $360
List of Cyber Security Conferences
For a comprehensive list of reputable cyber security conferences, please visit CSO Online. This source does a great job in compiling the very best cybersecurity events throughout the year. Please check back often for any updates or consider smaller and more intimate cyber security conferences based on the experience you’re seeking.
Unofficial After Parties at Cyber Security Conferences
One hidden secret of cyber security conferences is the after parties, where you can network outside of the official event. Many sponsors and vendors host an after party at entertainment venues, bars, and restaurants. But, how do you score an invite?
Quite often, sponsors and vendors will reach out via email if you’re a registered attendee. These invites could also be targeted at potential clients or partners. There is also an unofficial conference parties website that you can use as well.
If you are determined to get an invite, you can also try searching via google to see if key sponsors are hosting an after party prior to leaving for the cybersecurity event. Otherwise, ask around on the expo floor to score an invite!
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