Wednesday, July 20, 2016

BSidesCLE 2016 (belated) Summary

Almost a month since BSidesCLE 2016 and due to some elective medical modifications and the associated time off my feet I finally have some time to write about the event. Which was great again. First, huge props to all of our sponsors and partners:

Event Sponsor: TrustedSec
Diamond Sponsors: Black Box Network Services and Cisco Systems
Silver Sponsors: Hurricane Labs, StealthCare, SANS Institute, Optiv
Beer Sponsor: Hardbit Solutions featuring Actual Brewery
A/V Partner: Something New Entertainment
Video Recording: Adrian Crenshaw of TrustedSec
Venue: Grog Shop and B-Side Liquor Lounge and Arcade
Lunch Provider: Fired Up Taco Food Truck

More props to all of our volunteers who helped make the event run smooth and helped Adrian and Something New Entertainment ensure the whole event went smooth.

Special thanks to our trainers who helped us offer specialized infosec training at BSidesCLE for the first time this year the day before the conference. It was a great learning experience that we will definitely improve upon next year, and with one HUGE exception, was a success. That exception is the fact that one of our trainers was a no show and we had a full room of 25 people who paid for this person's training sitting in the room waiting for this person to show up while myself and our organizers tried to get in touch with the trainer unsuccessfully. we discovered he ended up accepting a talking spot at BSidesAthens Greece the same weekend and neglected to tell us. I do not intend to derail this post of all of the great things that happened at BSidesCLE with more of this, but so far this person has yet to reach out to explain and/or apologize, so I'll leave it at that.

We had record setting attendance this year and have some interesting associated metrics. This is the 3rd BSidesCLE that this organizational group has put on and for the first time, as a result of the human association that "free" does not necessarily have "value", we decided to charge $5 for shirts this year. Oddly enough, 80+ percent of the people who either paid the $5 for a shirt or graciously donated to the event through eventbrite showed up to the event. Contrasted with the ~40% of the people who fairly chose a free ticket and actually showed up. The organizers will analyze this further to determine where we take this data for BSidesCLE 2017, but even if we made it $5 for the event across the board and $10 for a shirt I feel it is safe to say most would still agree the value proposition would still be absolutely worth it given the amount of knowledge, talent, food, alcohol and genuine infosec community family values BSidesCLE brings.

The one drawback to being an organizer is we don't have the luxury of watching all of the talks, but I did catch portions of some really great ones. Keynotes aside (who all were amazing) some mini highlights I briefly really enjoyed include Nir Yosha, Cameron Moore, Adam Hogan, Charles Yost, Jimmy Byrd, Brad Hegrat, Eric Mikulas, Kevin Gennuso, Wolf Goerlich and rookies Raquel Milligan and Jonathan Cartwright. This week I also intend to catch up on the videos Adrian and team recorded. I also caught about 10 minutes of Jeremy Mio's talk on government cyber attack response, which was not recorded at his request, but was pretty dark, great stuff. Pick his brain about it.

Ian's morning keynote was an exceptional talk on actual effective security testing and risk analysis that provides true value in the real world, and due to a new job may be his last public facing talk for a time. Chris' lunch keynote was amazing and controversial as he is wont to do and definitely will have me thinking about the vulnerabilities of the food chain for some time. And Dave K was Dave K, nuff said. Again super thanks to our three keynotes.

Thanks to all who attended and participated, I hope everyone enjoyed all aspects of the event and if anyone has any questions/comments/suggestions feel free to reach out to any one of us.

Tip your bartenders! Cheers.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pre-BSidesCLE post

This is exciting. First year we've offered training, so we purposely kept the number of tracks relatively low and still had double the number of submissions than slots available, which was great, but also tough decision making. Sign up for the selected talks has been excellent and tomorrow we will be trying this for the first time. We are ready. Today, 6/23, the only thing we are waiting for are the programs and stickers which both should be ready tomorrow. The conference itself (sold out) has another great schedule. Opening comments at 8:45AM 6/25, first keynote at 9AM. Ian Amit, Chris Roberts and hometown hero Dave K are this year's keynotes. Bloody mary bar opens at 8 and will be complimented by mimosas, fired up taco food truck for lunch, beer sponsor hardbit solutions will be providing actual brewery microbrews, amazing sponsors and 3 tracks of awesome knowledge. See you there!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

BSidesCLE 2016 planning

We are well underway for our 2016 event, which is Saturday, June 25th and again at the legendary indie rock venue the Grog Shop in Cleveland Height's Coventry locale. TrustedSec has already signed on as our Event Sponsor for the 2nd year in a row! The CFP is open now and runs until 5/1 and can be found here. New this year #BSidesCLE will be having a training day! Friday, June 24th will be dedicated for training and we will have multiple tracks. The Call for Trainers is open, will also be open until 5/1 and can be found here.

We have an amazing group of keynotes (this year there will be morning, afternoon and closing keynote slots) - Chris Roberts (@sidragon1), Dave Kennedy (@hackingdave) and Ian Amit (@iiamit). Holy crap, this is going to be dope! Again! More info will be forthcoming. You can get tickets here. See you there.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

BSidesCLE - The good and the bad

Don't get me wrong, there's not much bad to take away from BSidesCLE 2015. The good includes another amazing event with fantastic sponsors:

  • Event Sponsor - TrustedSec
  • AfterParty Sponsor - Heureka Software
  • Diamond Sponsors - Black Box, Cisco
  • Gold Sponsor - Hurricane Labs
  • Silver Sponsors - Emerging Technologies Group, OpenDNS and Rapid7
  • A/V Partner - Something New Entertainment
  • Beer Sponsor - Actual Brewery and Hardbit Solutions
Amazing speakers and talks, all of which were recorded by Irongeek and are here. Jack's and Chris' keynotes are must sees, special thanks to them for coming out and spending time with us.

Good turnout, great attendees, free ticket, free shirt, free badge, free beer, free breakfast, free bloody mary bar, free taco food truck, free dinner for those who stuck around for the afterparty. A dedicated crew from PGH even figured out and won the crypto challenge late in the evening.

With all of that free awesomeness it baffles me that we had close to 35% no shows. Was it that the next day was father's day? C'mon, the crypto key on the shirt was BADDAD in honor of the fact that there were definitely a bunch of fathers spending their time at the Grog Shop instead of with their family on father's day weekend. No, general consensus was that many people don't put value in free, since they didn't have any skin in the game they can easily blow it off without thinking about it too much.

Could be, there is merit to that. Irrespective, I now have just shy of 100 badges, bags and badass BADDAD glow in the dark shirts in boxes in my dining room waiting to go to Goodwill because whatever the reason and those dollars could have been spent on doorprizes and such for those who spent time with us this year. Do we charge next year to make it more of an investment just to get more people to show up?

I am open to suggestions, hit me on twitter @rockiebrockway

Thanks again to my co-organizers, sponsors, speakers, volunteers, the grog/bside crew and everyone who made BSidesCLE 2015 another smashing success and super fun event. I love helping to run the event and am always looking for areas of improvement.

Friday, February 20, 2015

BSidesCLE 2015 Planning

The BSidesCLE crew is back again for another round of planning an awesome event. We lost one of our partners in crime to the fact that there aren't enough hours in a day, big props to Jim Kennedy for helping us get last year's event off the ground and a huge success. We are welcoming one of our great volunteers from last year Justin Alcorn in to assist in the planning efforts in Jim's absence.

This year's event is taking place at the same phenomenal venue, the legendary indie-rock club Grog Shop and the associated BSide Liquor Lounge and Arcade, and is set for June 20, 2015. The CFP is now open Our sponsor levels will be posted in the next couple of days, as will the tickets, and we're trying to lure in some great keynotes, more to come on that.

We're looking forward to another great event, see you there.