Security B-Sides Show To Rival Infosec London

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Could the second day of London’s Infosec show be hijacked by an indie competitor?

Security B-Sides, a new, free event for the security community, is being planned to take place in London on April 20 this year, the second day of the hugely popular Infosecurity Europe show.

The B-Sides events kicked off in the US two years ago, running concurrently with Black Hat USA 2009. Since then 13 events have been organised with a couple coinciding with the Black Hat and RSA Security conferences.

Smaller, More Intimate Meetings

The events bring together smaller groups of delegates from the security community and are intended to offer a more intimate networking atmosphere, the organisers claim, which allows greater audience participation and a better opportunity for group interaction.

The inaugural UK meeting’s free tickets have already “sold out” within eight days of becoming available but, with 200 available tickets and an estimated 12,500 security professionals already in town for Infosec, that is no surprise.

The “Unconference”, as it calls itself, is still being formulated and calls for papers (CFPs) will not close until February 15. No details are therefore available of currently scheduled topics but there will be a podcast live from the show by Eurotrash for all those who could not get tickets.

Matt Summers, Security B-Sides London founder and a consultant at Symantec said, “Security B-Sides is a movement by the information security community, It is not your typical conference, as the events expand the spectrum of infosecurity discussions by encouraging participants to give voice, creation and refinement to the ‘next big thing’.”

Security B-Sides has developed a rather ad-hoc reputation in the US with several conferences being organised and scheduled at fairly short notice. This is not to say that the conferences are ramshackle affairs but offer topics that are currently taxing the minds of security experts in a more relaxed atmosphere than a formal meeting.

Christofer Hoff, director for cloud and virtualisation solutions at Cisco Systems, an outspoken and sometimes controversial speaker at numerous security conferences, bemoans the fact that he cannot attend B-Sides events in the US.

In his blog he wrote, “Security B-Sides has long since emerged from the ‘Indie’ shadow it was born from and now represents and produces some of the most amazing content and speakers in the security (mainstream and otherwise) industry… Many of the B-Sides get spun up quickly and without much notice. Those that I might be able to travel to/attend take place alongside the bigger conferences which I am required to attend and/or have committed to speak at far in advance.”

He sees his non-attendance as an advantage for others: “Many of the folks who respond with awesome CFP submissions to B-Sides don’t (for a number of reasons) speak at the larger conferences… so why should I take up space when others should be given this amazing opportunity?”

The first London Security B-Sides conference will take place on April 20 at the Skills Matter eXchange in Clerkenwell, East London. Infosecurity Europe spans April 19-21 at Earls Court in West London.

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